India’s Sania Mirza and her Chinese partner Zhang Shuai crashed out of the Indian Wells Open 2021 tennis tournament in the USA on Thursday after losing their first round match in women’s doubles.
Sania Mirza, a six-time Grand Slam champion, and the 2021 US Open doubles champion Zhang Shuai lost 6-4, 3-6, 13-15 to the third seeded pair of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara from Japan. The match lasted one hour and 37 minutes.
Playing at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Sania and Zhang started strong and broke the Japanese opponents in the fifth game of the opening set, which was enough to win them the first set.
However, Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, the semi-finalists from this year’s Wimbledon, rallied back in the second set to break Sania-Zhang in the fourth game.
The slip up cost the Indo-Chinese pair as the Japanese duo levelled up the score 1-1 and forced a super-tiebreak.
The decider was nothing short of a roller coaster ride.
Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai saved two match points but also lost three opportunities to win the contest. The pair, however, could not save their third match point and lost the super-tiebreak 13-15 to bow out of the ATP Masters 1000 event.