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US Open: Mirza, Leander win in doubles, Somdev loses

By The Assam Tribune

NEW YORK, Sept 1 (IANS): India's campaign in the singles event at the US Open came to an end with Somdev Devvarman losing his opening round tie to Andy Murray but Leander Paes and Sania Mirza kept the country's hopes alive by winning in the doubles competitions with their respective partners.

Sania, who bowed out of the singles event Tuesday, paired up with Russia's Elena Vesnina to cruise past America's Samantha Crawford and Madison Key 6-2, 6-0 in the opening round of the women's doubles here Wednesday.

Sania-Vesnina, seeded sixth, will meet Russian Vitalia Diatchenko and Olga Savchuk of Ukraine in the second round.

Vesnina later turned up with Leander to beat Russian Nadia Petrova and Scotsman Jamie Murray 6-2, 6-7, 10-6 in a tough first round match of the mixed doubles. The Indo-Russian duo will play Yung-Jan Chan and Mariusz Fyrstenberg in the next round.

Somdev gave a tough fight to the 24-year-old Andy Murray, younger brother of Jamie, before exiting the tournament. The Indian broke him twice in his opening service game and stretched the set to a tie-break. The Scotsman was made to work hard but came through 7-6(7-5), 6-2, 6-3 on a hot afternoon in New York.

Andy, who lost the 2008 final at Flushing Meadows to Roger Federer, made a nervous start as he dropped his serve immediately and even after getting back on level terms at 3-3 he struggled to break free of the World No.64.

Somdev had his chance at 3-1, but a double-fault cost him and brought Andy level and the Briton went on to convert his third set point.

"He is very solid. I have seen a little bit of him before. I watched a few videos of him the last couple of days just to see what his game was like. He doesn't give you many free points, especially early on in the match. You have to get him to work hard before he starts making mistakes," Andy said of Somdev.

Andy admitted that he was nervous before the match.

"I was a little bit nervous at the start and making some bad decisions. Then once I calmed down, I felt better the middle of the first set and started hitting the ball a little bit better. The second and third sets were good. I was hitting the ball pretty clean," he said.

Somdev said: "He really does take advantage of his opportunities. Once he got ahead a break in the second, I felt he really took control of the match."

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