Sania Mirza addressing a media conference at her residence in Hyderabad, July 14. Mirza recently won the doubles title at Wimbledon. (Press Trust of India)
Leander Paes’ win capped an incredibly successful Wimbledon for India as the country took three titles this year. Sania Mirza won the women’s doubles and Saumit Nagal won the junior boys doubles trophy.
Sania and ‘Swiss Miss’ Martina Hingis scripted a grand comeback after trailing 2-5 in the final set of the women’s doubles final and the Indian said the match brought the best out of all four players, writes Amanpreet Singh.
Feels amazing to wake up as Wimbledon champion: Sania
“It’s an amazing feeling to wake up as Wimbledon champion,” said Sania Mirza after crowning herself to glory following a historic triumph at the most coveted Grand Slam championship.
Sania and ‘Swiss Miss’ Martina Hingis scripted a grand comeback after trailing 2-5 in the final set of the women’s doubles final and the Indian said the match brought the best out of all four players.
They eked out a 5-7 7-6(4) 7-5 win over familiar rivals Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina after battling hard for two hours and 25 minutes at the hallowed Centre Court.
“It was the best match you could have asked for in the final, all four of us put everything out there. We played amazing tennis. I am glad that we came out on top. It’s amazing feeling to wake up as Wimbledon champions,” Sania told PTI during an exclusive interaction from London.
Sania said she was in no mood to rest as she has already trained her eyes on the hard court season, leading up to the US Open – last Grand Slam of a calender year.
“I am looking forward towards bigger and better things.
Soon hard court season will start again. I just have to keep working hard,” she said.
Sania, who recently became world number one in doubles, has now won titles at all Grand Slam events. She won three mixed doubles (two with Mahesh Bhupathi and the other with Bruno Soares) and the first ever women’s doubles last week.
“This is something, we dream of and try to achieve. I am very fortunate that I have been able to achieve it in my career. I am really happy to have played Wimbledon final and won it,” she said.
Vesnina, who has paired with Sania and even reached French Open final with the Indian in 2011, was terrific at the net, often came out with audacious volley winners.
The 28-year-old Sania said Makarova and Vesnina were no easy nuts to crack.
“They were playing their best tennis and so were we. We started very aggressively and played a great tie-break in the second set and to come back from 2-5 in the final set was amazing, we kept telling each other that all we have to get is one break and we had to become little bit more aggressive which we did,” she said, recounting the tussle in the summit clash.
It was third final that Sania and Hingis played with the Russian pair and they have emerged champions all the times.
Sania said the Russians played better at Wimbledon than what they did in earlier summit clashes.
“This surface makes a big difference. At Indian Wells and Miami, we played on hard courts. Grass courts suits them better because they served pretty big. Our big strength is return and it sort of negated that.”
Asked about her preference of courts, she said, “I like grass a lot but hard courts are still remains my favorite,” concluded India’s greatest ever female tennis player.
Paes wins 16th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon
A vintage Leander Paes clinched his 16th Grand Slam trophy, winning the mixed doubles event of the Wimbledon Championship with legendary Martina Hingis after a dominating win over Alexander Peya and Timea Babos.
Seventh seed Indo-Swiss pair drubbed the fifth seed Austrian-Hungarian team 6-1 6-1 in the lop-sided summit clash which was over in just 40 minutes.
It was Paes’ eighth mixed doubles title and second with Hingis. They had won the Australian Open early this year.
42-year-old Paes has eight men’s doubles crowns in his Grand Slam collection.
Paes’ win capped an incredibly successful Wimbledon for India as the country took three titles this year. Sania Mirza won the women’s doubles and Saumit Nagal won the junior boys doubles trophy.
For Hingis, it was second title in as many days, having won the women’s doubles with Sania. Overall it was 18th Major title for the Swiss and third in mixed doubles.
Hingis was back on court less than 24 hours after that win with Sania but showed no sign of fatigue. She served well and was terrific at the net, complementing the Indian Pro.
Paes and Hingis literally toyed with Peya and Babos, who surprisingly failed to put any resistance.
In no time Paes and Hingis pocketed the first set as all they needed was 19 minutes to nose ahead. Two broke Babos in the fourth game and Peya in the sixth for a 5-1 cushion.
Hingis served out the set when Paes smashed a volley winner.
Paes and Hingis kept the pressure on the Austrian-American combination right from the first game of the second set. Peya failed to negotiate a Paes return at deuce to hand the seventh seeds grabbed the opportunity to break them.
Babos’ could not handle a Hingis return and the Indo- Swiss pair got an early break. There was no stopping them from there as they raced to victory in less than one hour.
Babos failed to hold her serve even once and it was on her return that Paes hit a deft backhand volley winner to close the contest.
India’s Nagal wins Junior Boys Doubles Wimbledon title
Youngster Sumit Nagal entered the history books as only sixth Indian to win a Grand Slam junior title after winning the boys doubles trophy at the Wimbledon championships with partner Nam Hoang Ly.
17-year-old Nagal and his eighth seed Vietnamese partner overcame the fourth seeds Reilly Opelka and Akira Santillan 7 -6(4) 6-4 in the title clash that lasted 63 minutes.
Yuki Bhambri was the last Indian to taste success at the top level in junior tennis when he won the Australian Open boys singles title in 2009.
Ramanathan Krishnan (Wimbledon, 1954), Ramesh Krishnan (French Open and Wimbledon, 1979) and Leander Paes (Wimbledon 1990, U.S. Open 1991) are the other junior Grand Slam singles champions from India.
Sania Mirza had won the Wimbledon girls doubles title in 2003 with Russian partner Alisa Kleybanova.
There was little to separate the two pairs as the winners won 65 points, only three more than their rivals.
Nagal and his partner broke their opponents in the 10th game of the second set and that proved decisive in the outcome of the match.