Sania-Martina in China Open quarters

Beijing: The Indo-Swiss tennis combine of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis earned a hard-fought victory to move into the women’s doubles quarterfinals of the China Open, being played on the hard courts of the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center here on Wednesday.

The top seeds took an hour and 17 minutes to edge past experienced Italian pair of Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta 1-6, 6-4, 10-6. This is the second victory in as many meetings for the Indo-Swiss pair over their opponents, having beaten the Italians in New York earlier this year.

But it was the end of the road for Rohan Bopanna, who with American partner John Isner, lost his men’s doubles first round in straight sets to Uruguayan-Serbian pairing of Pablo Cuevas and Viktor Troicki. The winners took just 54 minutes to easily beat Bopanna and Isner 6-4, 6-3.

Sania and Martina were shocked in the first set as their service games were broken thrice. To add to that, they double faulted twice, giving easy points to the Italian pair and losing the set in a jiffy. They looked totally out of rhythm and could not even earn a single breakpoint chance.

However, they fought back in the second set when they broke Sara and Flavia twice, once more than the Italians did, which was enough to win the set and push the match into the decider.

The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champions proved just a tad bit better in the super tie-break to clinch the match and enter the last eight.

They will next take on German-Czech pairing of Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova for a place in the semis.

Leander Paes, with Australia’s John Peers, had too lost his opener on Tuesday when the pair went down to Canadian-French fourth seeds Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-7(1), 6-4, 9-11.