India's Rohan Bopanna and his Ukrainian mixed doubles partner Nadiia Kichenok won 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 against their first-round opponents Lyudmyla Kichenok and Austin Krajicek at the Australian Open on Saturday.
Bopanna and Kichenok were originally set to play against France's Nicolas Mahut and China's Zhang Shuai but a last-minute change saw them facing off against Lyudmyla Kichenok — Nadiia's twin sister — and the USA's Austin Krajicek instead.
A close opening set for Rohan Bopanna
India's Rohan Bopanna opened the service, successfully holding serve in the first set and setting the pattern for the next ten games.
With the score at 6-5 in the 12th game, the duo managed to convert their third set point and break the opponents' serve to lead the match 1-0.
However, the second set saw the tables turned, as Kichenok's serve was broken in the third game, putting her and Bopanna on the backfoot.
The deficit increased to 1-3 after Lyudmyla Kichenok and Austin Krajicek held serve in the following game.
Neither side was broken during the remainder of the set, and after converting their second set point in the 10th game, Lyudmyla Kichenok and Austin Krajicek equalised the score to set up a Super Tie-Breaker.
Success in Super Tie-Breaker
The Super Tie-Breaker saw Rohan Bopanna and Nadiia Kichenok get broken in the fifth game and trail 2-3.
However, the duo began their comeback in the very next point and never looked back. After returning the favour to tie the score at 3-3, Rohan Bopanna and Nadiia Kichenok broke their opponents twice more en route to a 10-6 victory.
What’s next for India at the Australian Open?
Rohan Bopanna and Nadiia Kichenok will take on the pairing of Brazil's Bruno Soares and the USA's Nicole Melichar in the second round of the mixed doubles' on Sunday at 10:45 AM IST.
Also on Sunday, Indian veteran Leander Paes will be returning to action. After being given a mixed-doubles wild card, the 1996 Olympics bronze-medallist will be teaming up with 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko to face off against local wild card entrants Storm Sanders and Marc Polmans at 10:25 AM IST.
Both matches of the Australian Open will be telecast on the Sony Liv app.