Sania-Cara pair advances, Paes-Stepanek ousted from Sony Open


Miami: Sania Mirza and Cara Black fought their way into the second round even as Leander Paes made his third first round exit in five tournaments this year when he lost his opening round at the Sony Open with partner Radek Stepanek.

Sania and Zimbabwe’s Cara, seeded fifth, faced stiff resistance from the unseeded Taipei pair of Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan before prevailing 6-3 6-7(8) 10-8 in the first round of the $5,427,105 WTA Premier tournament.

They next face Georgia’s Oksana Kalashnikova and Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova.

In the $5,649,405 men’s tournament, being held simultaneously, fourth seeded Paes and his Czech partner Stepanek suffered an upset first round defeat against American Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen 3-6 6-7 (7).

At season-opener event in Chennai and then in Sydney also Paes and Stepanek had made a first round exit. The pair had reached quarterfinals of the Australian Open and Indian Wells Masters.

India’s challenge is still alive in the men’s doubles as Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi are yet to play.

Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi face Italian team of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

Unseeed Bhupathi and South African Kevin Anderson are up against second seeded pair of Alexander Peya from Austria and Bruno Soares from Brazil.