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Rome Masters: Sania enters semis; Paes, Bopanna ousted

Rome: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza did well to enter the women's doubles semi-finals but her compatriots Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna had to bite the dust as both lost their respective men's doubles second round matches at the Rome Masters here on Thursday.

World No.1 Sania reached the last four partnering Swiss ace Martina Hingis, with a straight sets win in the quarterfinal on the outdoor clay courts of Foro Italico.

The top-two ranked players in the world accounted for the German-Spanish combine of Julia Goerges and Silvia Soler-Espinosa in an hour and 12 minutes, with Sania and Martina winning 6-4, 6-3.

It was the same story in both the sets as Julia and Silvia broke their top-seeded opponents once in each set. Sania and Martina reverted by breaking their opponents twice in both the sets.

The Indian-Swiss pair, who won at Indian Wells and Miami earlier this year, was easily more dominant, winning more points on their and their opponent's serve.

In total, they won 62 of the 107 points played in the match and needed just one matchpoint to enter the last four of another tournament.

However, it was the end of the road for the Indian-Romanian combination of Bopanna and Florin Mergea, who lost to Dutch-Romanian pair of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.

Bopanna and Mergea, who won the Madrid Open title last week, went down 2-6, 7-5, 8-10 in an hour and 25 minutes in their first career meeting against the third seeds.

After sharing the first two sets, it all boiled down to the super tie-break where Rojer and Tecau proved a tad bit better.

Overall, Bopanna and Mergea were as good as their opponents on their own service games but they suffered when it came to return points where they did not earn as many points as they would have liked. Also, as many as seven double faults at crucial junctures proved to be fatal.

Later, Paes, partnering Canadian Daniel Nestor, went down 2-6, 4-6 in 55 minutes to Uruguayan-Spanish pairing of Pablo Cuevas and David Marrero.

Cuevas and Marrero totally outplayed the sixth seeds as they notched five break point opportunities out of which they converted three. In return, they did not even allow Paes and Nestor to win a single break point chance.

The unseeded combine will take on Rojer and Tecau in the quarters.

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