The mixed doubles competition at Australian Open 2013 kicked off on Friday, with the four scheduled matches featuring a number of Grand Slam mixed doubles titleholders.
First up was vastly experienced pair of Serb Nenad Zemonjic and Slovakian Katarina Srebotnik, who own a total of nine mixed doubles Grand Slam crowns between them, including twice pairing up to win the French Open.
Against local duo Marinko Matosevic and Olivia Rogowska and with rain threatening, Zemonjic and Srebotnik wasted no time in brushing the Aussies aside, winning 6-3 6-3 in exactly one hour.
Another local pair was on court early, with big-serving lefty Chris Guccione alongside Bojana Bobusic, the Aussie wildcard who gave Agnieszka Radwanska an early scare in their first round singles encounter.
They too faced a formidable combination in Spanish veteran Anabel Medina Garrigues and reigning US Open mixed doubles champion, Brazilian Bruno Soares.
The Australians stuck with the more experienced pair for the entire match, but a single break of serve was enough to undo them, as they went down in a close one 6-4 6-7(7) [10-3] after saving three match points in the second set tiebreaker.
After the match, Guccione summed up their day.
“We tried to keep it away from Bruno a bit, but it’s tough, he knows exactly when to cross and get to the ball … and Anabel came up with some great shots as well.”
Despite the loss, the wildcard pair enjoyed the experience and has plans to team up again if the opportunity arises.
Finally, alternates Yan Zi of China and Mexican Santiago Gonzalez were far too strong for Austrian pair Tamira Paszek and Alexander Peya, winning 6-2 6-2.
Perhaps today’s highlight though is the night session on Hisense Arena, which features third seeds Sania Mirza from India and American Bob Bryan. Mirza is the reigning French Open mixed doubles champion and won the event here in 2009, while Bryan has won every mixed doubles Grand Slam except the Australian Open.
Their opponents tonight, in what is sure to be an entertaining affair, are Australians Samantha Stosur and former world No.1 junior and reigning Australian Open boys champion, Luke Saville.