London, July 2 (IANS) India’s Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza on Friday advanced to the second round of the mixed doubles competition at Wimbledon here after beating compatriots Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina in an all-Indian match. It was the first time that two Indian pairs were facing each other at a Grand Slam.
Experienced duo Sania and Rohan beat Ankita and Ramanathan 6-2, 7-6(5) in just over an hour on Court 8. Sania, 34, and Bopanna, 41, were always in control in the first set but faced some resistance in the second. They won 74% points on first serve as compared to 68% by their opponents, who also committed a double fault.
Ramanathan and Ankita, who stormed to a 4-1 lead in the second set before their opponents reeled them in to take the issue to a tiebreaker, had three break points in the second set, but could convert only one.
It was a good start for Sania and Bopanna, who have reunited on the circuit for mixed doubles in view of the Tokyo Olympic Games. They now face the British pair Aidan McHugh and Emily Webley-Smith in the next round.