Paris | Veteran Indian tennis star Leander Paes completed a ‘Career Slam’ in mixed doubles with Swiss partner Martina Hingis with a hard-fought win over compatriot Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig, here Friday.
The unseeded Indo-Swiss pair eked out a 4-6 6-4 10-8 win over the second seeds in the summit clash that lasted one hour and 28 minutes.
42-year-old Paes had won Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2015 with Hingis.
It was 18th Grand Slam title for Paes and 10th in the mixed doubles. For 35-year-old Hingis, it was Grand Slam title number 22nd and fifth trophy in the mixed doubles.
Despite being the oldest player on the court, Paes’ alertness and presence of mind made a good difference to the outcome of the match. Whenever he saw little openings and converted those into points.
Playing with lot passion, he put away volleys from ferocious returns of both Sania and Dodig and has staked claim to be in India’s mixed doubles team at the upcoming Rio Olympics.
Dodig was excellent with his service games in the opening and hardly lost points. His powerful returns combined with Sania’s powerful game made it very tough for Paes and Sania.
The opening set was on serve till the ninth game. Paes was serving to stay in the set and was broken. The chance came the second seeds’ way when Hingis failed to put a ball back on court on return of Dodig. On the deciding deuce point, Sania hit a forehand winner past Hingis to seal the set.
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