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'Sania's aggressive game made the task easier'

Last updated on: August 3, 2012 10:04 IST

'It was about finding that same old magic that helps us play well'

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Harish Kotian

Leander Paes and Sania Mirza came together on the tennis court after nearly two years, but got into the act immediately.

They looked like regular partners on the circuit as they demolished the Serbian pair of Ana Ivanovic and Nenad Zimonjic in the first round of the mixed doubles at the London Olympics, on Thursday.

The Indian duo took just 64 minutes to complete a 6-2, 6-4 victory and set up a quarter-final against top seeds Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete coverage

Old warhorse Paes said despite playing together after a long time, they took no time in reworking their chemistry of yore.

"You never forget the chemistry, you never ever forget that. For us, coming out today, I think, it was just about finding that same old magic that helps us play well," he said.



Image: Leander Paes and Sania Mirza in action against Serbian pair of Ana Ivanovic and Nenad Zimonjic on Thursday
Photographs: Harish Kotian / Rediff.com

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'Everything she touched was almost a winner or a great set-up for Leander'

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There was controversy about who Sania would partner, considering that she had won the French Open with Mahesh Bhupathi, but everything appeared forgotten as the two players got on court.

"Chemistry is something you don't forget and it comes very naturally to us when we play together. We respect each other and when we go on the court we try to bring our best tennis as individuals to become a good team and that is what we did today. Sometimes the results go in our favour and sometimes it doesn't," she said.

Zimonjic had a special word of praise for Sania, who he felt made the difference.

"Today, I thought Sania was the one who didn't miss a ball for a set-and-half. Everything she touched was almost a winner or a great set-up for Leander, who obviously knows how to use these great shots," he told Rediff.com.

Image: Sania Mirza
Photographs: Mary Chastain / Reuters

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'Sania's aggressive game made the task easier'

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Paes also showered generous praise on his partner, saying it was her aggressive game and solid groundstrokes that made his task easier.

"I hope she is unstoppable in every match; that will make my job easier. I enjoy it when Sania leads the team; she comes out there and plays more aggressive. She leads well and I enjoy that. I have had so many different partners and the roles are different, but with her it is nice when she leads the team," he said.

Looking ahead, Paes said if they continue to play and support each other in the same vein as on Thursday, then no team can stop them.

Image: Leander Paes and Sania Mirza speak to the media after their first round win
Photographs: Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
Tags: Sania , Paes

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'If we help each other play good tennis then sky is the limit'

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"For us, it is about playing good tennis. If we play good tennis and help each other play good tennis then sky is the limit. We are playing the number one seeds in the world and you are at the Olympics, so that is what this is all about.

"We will come out tomorrow and play a good match. The margins are very small, especially one shot sometimes. You could be up in one match, you could be down in another, but you still got to support each other and find a way," he said.


Image: Leander Paes and Sania Mirza speak to the media after their first round win
Photographs: Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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