Bhupathi-Sania win maiden French Open mixed doubles title
Playing their third Grand Slam final together, the seventh seeded Indian pair scored a 7-6 (3) 6-1 win over the Polish-Mexican pair in one hour and 13 minutes at the Court Philippe Chatrier.
It is second career Grand Slam title for Sania while 12th Major trophy for Bhupathi, who now has won eight mixed doubles trophies.
Sania and Bhupathi had won the 2009 Australia Open and it is their first Grand Slam title since then. Sania had become first woman tennis player from India to win a Grand Slam with that Australian Open trophy.
Leander Paes is the most successful Indian tennis player with 13 Grand Slam titles, seven of which are men`s doubles trophies with various partners. With this win, Sania and Bhupathi sent out a warning to the players worldwide that they will be the force to reckon with at the upcoming London Olympics. However, they are not yet sure of competing there. Sania needs to get the wild card to make the women`s singles draw which will make her eligible to contest in the mixed doubles.
In Thursday`s match, the Indians were slow off the blocks with their rivals dominating the proceedings early on but they raised the level of their game as the match progressed and in the end scored a comfortable win.
Mahesh Bhupathi presented himself a good birthday gift as he turned 38 on Thursday. "I don`t need to give gift to my partner (now that we have won)," Sania said jokingly after the match.
It was the Indian pair, which got the first break chance in the very first game, but not only they missed that, Sania dropped her serve in the third game.
Sania struggled with both her serve and returns and Bhupathi too was not getting his shot placements right. They were down 1-3 and also squandered two break chances when Klaudia was serving in the eighth game.
But they lifted their game and spirit up, broke Santiago in the 10th game when Bhupathi smashed an overhead volley to draw parity. The set was stretched into a tie-break, where the experienced Indians prevailed.
The second set was no contest as the Indians ran through their rivals. Santiago was broken in the very first game and the Indians were unstoppable after that. Another break of serve off Santiago put the Indians ahead 4-1 and they comfortably sealed the match.