Firsts are always special as the duo of Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Mate Pavic were handed their first semi-final entry into the Mixed Doubles at the Wimbledon.
Prior to this year’s edition, Sania Mirza had reached the quarter-final on three occasions (2011, 2013, and 2015) but couldn’t go past this stage. Similarly, Croatian Mate Pavic ended his Mixed Doubles journey at the quarter-final stage in 2017 and 2021, making this win his first time in the last four at the grass court Grand Slam as well.
The winning duo trumped John Peers and Gabriela Dabrowski in a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 three-set thriller. Mirza-Pavic comfortably won the first set, but Peers’ fast-paced serves and Dabrowski’s omnipresence across the court got them back into the tie.
Throughout the match, the Indian’s beautiful placement of shots, especially from the baseline, coupled with Pavic’s nifty reflexes, gave the pair the edge over Peers-Dabrowski.
What made this clash more interesting was that Gabriela Dabrowski had been another Indian ace, Rohan Bopanna’s patner en route to his lone Grand Slam win at the 2017 French Open. Not only that, Dabrowski’s second Grand Slam win came with her opponent from today, Mate Pavic, who she paired with at the 2018 Australian Open where on the other side of the net was Rohan Bopanna and Timea Babos in the finals at Rod Laver Arena.
Tonight’s win was certainly a good birthday gift for Mate Pavic, while reaching the final and ultimately winning the title would be something on Sania Mirza’s mind on her last hurrah at the Wimbledon Championships, where she has been a former champion in the girls’ and women’s doubles previously.