Moscow: Sania Mirza and her Spanish partner Nuria Llagostera Vives entered the second round of Kremlin Cup after a hard-fought victory over Darya Kustova of Belarus and Ukraine’s Olga Savchuk, here, on Tuesday.
The third-seeded Indo-Spanish pair beat their unseeded opponents 6-3, 5-7, 10-6 in a battle that lasted an hour and 27 minutes.
Sania and Nuria will take on the winner of the match between Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones and Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the second round.
Sania and Nuria wasted as many as eight breakpoint opportunities out of 11, while the Belarusian-Ukrainian duo let go four of the six break chances. There was little to differentiate between the two teams as both committed a number of unforced errors but Sania and Nuria managed to keep their nerves to walk away with the match.
In singles, defending champion Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round, rallying to beat Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
In the second round, Cibulkova will face Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, who beat Varvara Lepchenko of the US 6-0, 7-6 (3).