The semifinals of the Mixed Doubles competition were played on the 12th day of action at the Australian Open, with some surprise names appearing in the list of winners. The final would be contested by the second seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, who would be the heavy favorites, followed by Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal, who are the surprise finalists.
Mirza and Dodig battle past home favorites
Sam Groth started the match the worst way possible, as the record holder of the world’s fastest serve hit three consecutive double faults to get broken in the first game of the match, starting off on a negative note. Nevertheless, Dodig also lost his serve as the all-Australian pairing of Groth and Samantha Stosur broke back immediately, making the reply as soon as possible. The next break of serve unexpectedly went to the Australian pair once again, breaking Dodig’s serve to love to gain the lead. The inconsistencies in both pairs’ service games were further exposed as Mirza and Dodig returned back level when they broke back immediately, before having their third service break of the set to seal the opening set 6-4 after 36 minutes.
Groth and Stosur then strolled to win the second set in comfortable as they won it with a dominating scoreline of 6-2 after just 30 minutes. Groth originally received a medical time-out for a neck injury that has been troubling him and was perhaps the reason why his serves were uncharacteristically unreliable. A double fault from Mirza caused her to get broken and allow the Australians to run away with the set, as they gained the momentum and strolled to level the match.
The final set tiebreak looked to be tight as Stosur and Groth had a 3-2 lead, and was tipped to have the mini break as they were on the offense from the first shot onwards in that rally of the sixth point of the tiebreak, but Mirza and Dodig showed some incredible defensive skills to prevent themselves from trailing by a mini break and instead hold onto that service point. That loss of point would prove crucial as it seemed to affect the Australians after they lost 5 points in a row to trail 7-3 and look to exit the tournament. Despite stopping the rout, Dodig and Mirza eventually closed out the match and sealed their place in the final.
Spears and Cabal seals spot in final
The opening set was very tightly contested between both pairings, with Spears and Cabal making the first breakthrough by breaking serve first at 1-1. Nevertheless, Elina Svitolina and Chris Guccione made an immediate reply as they broke back straight in the next game to keep up with their opponents in the scoreboard. The set was eventually extended to a tiebreak as both pairs were quite solid and consistent in their service games, and neither of the two pairs could make a breakthrough in the return games. The tiebreak was surprisingly very one-sided, though, as Spears and Cabal strolled to a 7-1 victory to clinch the first set 7-6 after just 44 minutes.
The second set was much more smooth-sailing and one-sided as Cabal and Spears jumped out to a 3-0 lead within a blink of an eye, looking the favorite to close out the match. With the momentum running in them, Spears and Cabal eventually broke once more just at the last moment in the last game of the match, sealing the match in just 69 minutes to clinch a place in the final.