Mahesh and Sania cap a memorable Australian Open (Roundup)February 1st, 2009 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Feb 1 (IANS) Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza capped a memorable Australian Open for India when the pair went on to win the mixed doubles title at the historic Rod Laver Arena on a hot and sultry day. The Indians swept past France’s Nathalie Dechy and Israeli Andy Ram 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
In the process, 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 as she had won the junior girls doubles at Wimbledon in 2003 with Russian Alisa Kleybanova.
Bhupathi, whose last Grand Slam title also came here in 2006 with Martina Hingis in the mixed doubles, has now won 11 Grand Slams — seven mixed doubles and four men’s doubles titles.
The victory was all the more sweet for India as it came a day after the country found a new tennis sensation in Yuki Bhambri, who won the boys’ singles title Saturday.
It was a perfect exhibition of mixed doubles play by the Indians. They complemented each other so well that they had little difficulty in repeating their last year’s semi-final victory here over the Israeli-French pair.
Sania was again in sublime touch as she was in the semi-finals against Lukas Dlouhy and Iveta Benesova. Bhupathi with his reach covered the net splendidly and the two played some impeccable overhead smashes.
Bhupathi served brilliantly and he just conceded one point in his last four service games.
While Bhupathi and Sania hardly left any gaps for their opponents to exploit, they themselves found large uncovered areas across the net to hit winners with impunity.
Ram and Dechy were swept off their feet and they could do little to stop the determined Indians from cruising through.
For Bhupathi this is his 11th career Grand Slam title and second at the Australian Open, having won it in 2006 with former women’s World No. 1 Martina Hingis of Switzerland. He had also won at Wimbledon and at U.S. Open twice each. His first title came at the French Open.
Amazingly, Bhupathi’s seven mixed doubles titles have come with a different partner each time.
It all started at Roland Garros in 1997 when he won it with Rika Hiraki. 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.
Besides, the 34-year-old Banglorean has four men’s doubles title, three of which came with Leander Paes and one with Max Mirnyi of Belarus.
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- Bhupathi makes it a first all-India affair in mixed Grand Slam (Second Lead) - Feb 01, 2009
- Bhupathi and Sania win Australian Open mixed doubles title (Lead) - Feb 01, 2009
- India pin hopes on doubles at Australian Open - Jan 15, 2012
- Sania-Bhupathi claim maiden French Open crown (Lead) - Jun 08, 2012
- Sania-Bhupathi sail into French Open final (Lead) - Jun 06, 2012
- Bhupathi wins his 11th Grand Slam, first for Sania (Statistics) - Feb 01, 2009
- Hingis at peace with Olympic decision - Aug 01, 2012
- Sania Mirza goes down fighting to Henin in opening round of Australian Open - Jan 17, 2011
- Bhupathi senior happy Mahesh's win came with Sania - Feb 01, 2009
- Tricky issues confront tennis selectors - Jun 14, 2012
- Sania-Bhupathi crash out of Australian Open - Jan 27, 2012
- AITA confident of getting Sania to play in Olympics - May 30, 2012
- Former World No.1 Hingis expected to play in Australian Open - Oct 04, 2011
- French Open: Sania-Bhupathi in final, Paes-Vesnina knocked out (Lead) - Jun 07, 2012
Tags: alisa kleybanova, andy ram, australian open, career grand slam, final victory, grand slam title, grand slam winner, grand slams, iveta benesova, junior girls, mahesh bhupathi, martina hingis, mixed doubles, nathalie dechy, rod laver, rod laver arena, sania mirza, service games, tennis sensation, yuki bhambri