French Open: Sania-Mahesh claim mixed doubles trophy
Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi won their second Grand Slam title together and first French Open trophy after crushing the challenge of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez in the mixed doubles final.
Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi won their second Grand Slam title together and first French Open trophy after crushing the challenge of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez in the mixed doubles final. (All AFP and AP Images)
The seventh seeded Indian pair scored a 7-6 (3), 6-1 win over the Polish-Mexican pair of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez in one hour and 13 minutes at the Court Philippe Chatrier.
It is the second Grand Slam title for Sania while 12th Major trophy for Bhupathi, who now has won eight mixed doubles trophies.
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 was particularly impressive and presented himself a good birthday gift as he turned 38 on Thursday. He dedicated the title to his four-month old daughter with wife Lara Dutta.
It wasn't a great start for the Indian pair, which got the first break chance in the very first game, but not only did they miss that, Sania dropped her serve in the third game.
The Indian duo eventually lifted their game and 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 a no contest as the Indians ran through their rivals.
Earlier in the day, Maria Sharapova defeated Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 to reach her first French Open final.
With the win the Russian reclaimed the world number one ranking and moved one win away from completing a career Grand Slam.
Sharapova, at an imposing 1.88m, and Kvitova, just 5cm shorter, both struggled for accuracy in the testing conditions on Philippe Chatrier court, where the wind whipped up the clay and helped balls sail out. But it was Sharapova who quickly adapted her game.
Kvitova, who beat Sharapova in straight sets to win last year's Wimbledon final, said the Russian had deserved to win. "She has improved a lot on clay. She was better and deserves to go through. She has a big serve which is tough to return," said the fourth seed.
In the other women's semi-final, Italy's Sara Errani crushed the French Open hopes of Samantha Stosur of Australia, reaching her first Grand Slam final with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win.
If Errani triumphs against Maria Sharapova she will be only the second Italian woman to win the French Open, two years after Francesca Schiavone's breakthrough victory and the first player ranked outside the world top 20 to win in Paris since 1976.
US Open champion Stosur was bidding to become the first Australian woman to win the French Open title since Margaret Court in 1973. She had won their five previous encounters but fell short on Thursday.
Serves were held comfortably until the 11th game when Stosur lost her touch and timing, netting an easy volley at the net on the third break point to Errani. The 21st-seeded Italian served out to take the first set.
Stosur, however, hit back in the second set, running away with it 6-1. In the third set, Errani moved 3-0 up, only for Stosur to break back and level at 3-3. But that was where the fight ended as Errani clinched the remaining games to claim the biggest win of her career.