Indian tennis players Sania Mirza and Leander Paes had a great day at the French Open, reaching the final of the mixed doubles competition with their respective partners on Thursday. Top seeds in the men's and women's singles, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, also registered wins to march into the semifinals at Roland Garros.
With rain playing spoilsport earlier in the tournament, the Indian stars were forced to play two matches – quarterfinal and semifinal – on the same day, which was a huge ask. But, the pair of Paes and Martina Hingis looked in complete control as they defeated the fifth seeded Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares in straights sets 6-4, 6-3, during the last eight match.
The Indo-Swiss pair found it tough later in the day, but got the better of Andrea Hlavackova and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the semifinals. Paes and Hingis won the semifinal in the super-tie breaker, with the final score reading 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.
If it was tough for the Indo-Swiss pair, Sania and Ivan Dodig found it even more difficult, as they won both their matches via a super tie-breaker. They registered a win in the quarterfinal against Yung Jan Chan and Max Miryni, 6-1, 3-6, 10-6, and then played some brilliant tennis to reach the final, defeating the third seed, Kristina Mladenovic and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 4-6, 6-3, 12-10.
In the singles, Djokovic continued his impressive form in the quarterfinal, playing some beautiful tennis against Tomas Berdych, with the Czech unable to keep up with the Serbian, who won 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. The world number one will meet Dominic Thiem, who defeated David Goffin, in the last four. Djokovic risked disqualification after he angrily swiped the racquet in the third set, which nearly struck the line judge.
"I am aware that I have been lucky," BBC quoted Djokovic as saying. "It was just some unfortunate bounce, but fortunate ending of the scenario. That's all I can say."
It was not smooth sailing for Serena, as the American was tested by Yulia Putintseva, who won the first set. But, Serena, who never gives up, came back strong, and won the last two sets, to reach yet another semifinal. The score read, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. Serena will meet Dutch player, Kiki Bertens in the semis.