Paes, Sania in US Open finals

Sleeping beauty Federer targets Wawrinka for final berth

New York: In a double delight for Indian fans, veteran tennis star Leander Paes and Sania Mirza stormed into the finals of the US Open mixed Doubles and women’s doubles draw respectively with common partner Martina Hingis.
Fourth seeds Paes and Hingis were in top form as they staved off a tough challenge from the second-seeded pair of Rohan Bopanna and Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei 6-2, 7-5.
Both the teams served four aces each but the Bopanna-Chan combine suffered on the unforced errors count, which was 12 as compared to 9 from Paes and Hingis.
The Indo-Swiss pair will now face the US duo of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sam Querrey.
Earlier Hingis combined superbly with Sania as the duo made it look relatively simple against the Italian pair of Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-1.
The top-seeded pair will take on the winner of the second semi-final match between Casey Dellacqua (Australia)-Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) and Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Germany)-Coco Vandeweghe (USA).
Both the Indian players saw success on Court 17 as a host of nation’s tennis fans turned up to back their stars in action.
Paes not only thanked all the fans, who came in numbers to support the stars.
There was disappointment though in the Junior Girls Singles category as Karman Kaur Thandi’s winning run ended against Dalma Galfi in the third round. The 17-year-old Indian went down against the second-seeded German 6-4, 7-6.
Meanwhile, five-time champion Roger Federer will prepare for his US Open semi-final clash with close friend Stan Wawrinka by sleeping as much as possible.
The 34-year-old Swiss believes napping, as well as the routine of practice and gym work, is just as crucial as he enters his 10th New York semi-final and 20th career clash against his compatriot.
He is so fond of sleep that Federer will look to get in as much as 10 hours a day before Friday’s semi-final, where the winner will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or defending champion Marin Cilic in Sunday’s championship match.
“Sleeping has become quite important,” said Federer, the father of two sets of twins.
“I make sure I sleep enough, as well. Like when I went to bed after the John Isner match (in the fourth round) it got quite late and I couldn’t sleep quite as much as I wanted to.
“Because I believe it’s really the sleep that gives you energy again down the road. That’s why the next two days are very important for me in terms of sleeping.”
If the approach for such a high-stakes clash seems risky, then Federer is showing no signs of nerves as he moves two wins from an 18th major and his first in more than three years.
He has reached the semi-finals without dropping a set and has been broken just twice.
On Wednesday, he blitzed French 12th seed Richard Gasquet in just 87 minutes, firing 50 winners, 16 aces and facing just a single break point.
Furthermore, he has a 16-3 record against Wawrinka.
He may have lost their most recent clash in the French Open quarter-finals as Wawrinka swept to the title, but Federer’s three defeats have all come on clay.
Wawrinka believes he is now the equal of Federer, something he did not quite believe before he won his first major at the 2014 Australian Open.
Wawrinka will be playing in his second semi-final after also making the last four in 2013. (AFP)

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