Sania-Hesh lift French Open mixed doubles crown
Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza played beautifully to conquer their opponents and claim their maiden French Open title.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza have done India proud after wiinning the mixed doubles title at the French Open on Thursday, defeating Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Klaudia Jans-Ignacik of Poland 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 in the final.
Bhupathi, one of the most successful men's doubles and mixed doubles players ever, won the title on his 38th birthday.
"Now I dont have to think of a gift to give him," Mirza said after their victory.
Bhupathi, who is married to Indian actress and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, dedicated the trophy to his four-month-old daughter Saira, his first child.
"This one's for her and I'm really happy," he said.
It was the third time that Mirza and Bhupathi had reached a Grand Slam final together. They won the 2009 Australian Open after being runners-up at the same tournament in 2008.
The seventh seeds recovered from a dodgy start to get the over the line against the Polish-Mexican duo.
While the victory gave Bhupathi his eighth mixed doubles Grand Slam title, it was the second trophy for his Hyderabadi partner.
Bhupathi 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.