Sania-Bhupathi claim maiden French Open crown

Paris: India’s Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi captured their second mixed doubles Grand Slam title beating Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez 7-6, 6-1 in the French Open final here Thursday.

The seventh seeds recovered from a dodgy start to get over the line against the Polish-Mexican duo.

It was Sania-Bhupathi’s maiden triumph at the Roland Garros and second major crown after the pair won the Australian Open in 2009.

While the victory gave Bhupathi his eighth mixed doubles Grand Slam title, it was the second trophy for his Hyderabadi partner.

Bhupathi, who turned 38 Thursday, has now won all four Grand Slams twice in the category with first one coming here in 1997 when he partnered Rika Hiraki of Japan. He also has four doubles titles to his name.

“A Grand Slam title has come after a long time. The first one since I have become a father. It will always be special,” said Bhupathi referring to his first Grand Slam win since Melbourne in 2009.

It was not the best of starts for the Indians as they looked jittery. Bhupathi struggled with his serve in the semifinal and this time it was Sania who took time to get into the groove. She lost her first service game on love to make it 1-3.

Sania-Bhupathi got back into the match by breaking Klaudia’s serve with Bhupathi unleashing a cracking forehand down the line, levelling the set at 4-4.

It was anybody’s set going into the tie-break. The seasoned Indian combination rose to the occasion, taking 6-3 lead and converting their first set point. Bhupathi made the difference in the tie-break, coming up with lethal returns at the right time.

They raced to a 5-1 lead in the second as Klaudia and Gonzalez could not maintain their level of play. The Indians put up a disciplined effort in the 26-min set and did not make a single unforced error double fault.

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