Bhupathi senior happy Mahesh’s win came with Sania

February 1st, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Delighted over his son Mahesh Bhupathi’s seventh mixed double Grand Slam title, C.G.K. Bhupathi said it was special as it came with an Indian girl, Sania Mirza.Bhupathi and Sania Sunday became the first Indian pair to win a mixed doubles Grand Slam title when they beat Israel’s Andy Ram and Nathalie Dechy of France 6-3, 6-1.

“We expected them to win the title. They are both solid in returning the serve. They were excellent today. I am, of course, very happy and the fact that he won with an Indian girl makes it all the more special,” Bhupathi told IANS.

It all started for Bhupathi in 1997 at Roland Garros where he won the mixed doubles title with Rika Hiraki and in the process becoming the first Indian to win a Grand Slam. His two US Open titles came with Ai Sugiyama in 1999 and then in 2005 with Daniela Hantuchova. He won at Wimbledon with Elena Likhovtseva and with Mary Pierce in 2005.

Bhupathi Sunday won his 11th Grand Slam, which includes four men’s doubles title, three with Leander Paes.

Bhupathi senior said the win will give a fillip to Sania’s career whose wrist injury forced her out of action for a large part last year.

“The win is very good for her confidence. When you compete with the best in the world and also do well, you begin to believe in yourself. The victory will boost her performance in the singles.”

With this victory, Sania became the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam just as Bhupathi was the first men’s Grand Slam winner for India in 1997. This is Sania’s first Grand Slam title in the seniors. She had won the junior girls doubles at Wimbledon in 2003 with Russian Alisa Kleybanova.

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