Paris: India's Rohan Bopanna and his Slovakian partner Katarina Srebotnik faced stiff resistance from Marc Lopez and Andrea Hlavackova before prevailing in a tense first round contest in the mixed doubles event of the French Open, here today.
The second seeded Indo-Slovak pair fought hard for a 7-6 (5) 7-5 win against the Spanish-Czech combo in an hour and 23 minutes in the opening round of the clay court Grand Slam event. Bopanna and Katarina are now up against Zimbabwe's Cara Black and Robert Farah from Colombia.
They converted four of the five breakpoints and fired eight aces to two of their rivals. However, Bopanna and Katarina had too many double faults, eight in total, to just one of their rival team. In all, they won 85 points while Lopez and Hlavackova managed 67. Sania Mirza is already in the pre-quarterfinals with Romanian partner Horia Tecau.
If both Bopanna and Sania can manage to win the next matches, they will clash in the semifinals, which would mean that at least one Indian will fight for title. Bopanna has never won a Grand Slam while Sania has two mixed doubles trophies in her cabinet.