Indian tennis ace Leander Paes reached yet another Grand Slam final when he made it in to the summit clash of the Australian Open, partnering Swiss veteran Martina Hingis in mixed doubles at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday. However, it was the end of the road for top seeds Sania Mirza and Bruno Soares in the other semi-final of the same category when they lost 6-3, 2-6, 8-10 in one hour and 14 minutes to French-Canadian third seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor.
In the first match of the day, Leander Paes and Hingis had a rather contrasting victory. Though they finished the match in two sets, it took them an hour and 14 minutes to seal the deal 7-5, 6-4. Their unseeded opponents Su-Wei Hsieh (Chinese Taipei) and Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) broke them once in the first set but the Indo-Swiss combine went one better to take the first set.
In the second set, Cuevas and Hsieh got two chances to break the seventh seeds but Paes-Hingis made sure they saved both the points, and in return, broke the Chinese Taipei-Uruguayan duo on their third attempt. This is Paes’ fifth Australian Open mixed doubles final, having won the crown twice in 2003 and 2010, while Hingis won the crown in 2006 with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi. The 34-year-old Swiss has also won the singles title here three times — 1997, 1998, 1999.
Later on the Margaret Court Arena, Mirza and Soares looked well on course when they won the first set in 28 minutes. But the match changed its route in the second set when Mladenovic and Nestor turned the tables and clinched the second set with ease, pushing the match into the decider. The super tie-break was a touch and go affair and the third seeds took their chances to kitty the match and proceed to the final where they will take on Paes and Hingis. (IANS)