India’s Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi outplayed Galina Voskoboeva and Danielle Bracciali 6-4, 6-2 to enter the mixed doubles final at the French Open tennis tournament here yesterday, while Leander Paes exited from the tournament after losing his mixed doubles semis clash.
Mirza-Bhupathi beat the Kazakh-Italian pair of Voskoboeva and Bracciali in a battle that lasted under 70 minutes.
Sania-Bhupathi will face Poland’s Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Mexican Santiago Gonzalez, who beat compatriot Leander Paes and Russia’s Elena Vesnina 7-6, 6-3 in the second semi-final held later in the day.
Paes-Vesnina frittered away a 5-2 lead in the first set before going down tamely in the tie-breaker. They were erratic in the second and unable to match the power play of their opponents.
Sania-Bhupathi got on the board breaking their opponents' serve in the very first game of the match. Bhupathi struggled with his serve early on as Voskoboeva-Bracciali immediately broke back for 1-1.
The Indians lifted their level of play as the set progressed, with Bhupathi finding his rhythm. Sania played solid throughout the set, serving well and using her dangerous forehand for desired results. Bhupathi closed out the set with an ace. The first set lasting 39 minutes saw Indians converting half of their six break points while Voskoboeva and Bracciali cashed in on the two opportunities that came their way.
It is for the third time that Sania and Bhupathi have reached a Grand Slam final together. They won the 2009 Australia Open and had ended runners-up at the same tournament in 2008.
Bhupathi’s only mixed doubles title at Roland Garros came in 1997 when he partnered Japan’s Rika Hiraki.
Sania is yet to win here in the mixed doubles event. She reached the women’s doubles final in 2011.