News Karnataka
Thursday, March 23 2023

Tennis ace Leander Paes clinches 16th Grand Slam title

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The 42-year-old Indian tennis ace Leander Paes once again defied his age to clinch the mixed doubles crown with Swiss partner Martina Hingis at Wimbledon here, thereby claiming his 16th Grand Slam title.
Seeded seventh, Paes and Hingis joined hands one more time to completely thrash Austrian-Hungarian fifth seeds Alexander Peya and Timea Babos 6-1, 6-1 in the final at Centre Court here on Sunday.

This is the fourth time Paes has won the mixed doubles title at the All England Club. In 1999, he won it with American Lisa Raymond, in 2003 with the legendary Martina Navratilova and in 2010 with Zimbabwean Cara Black.

He also has the men’s doubles title in his bag which he won here with Mahesh Bhupathi way back in 1999. Overall, the Calcutta-born now has eight mixed doubles and eight men’s doubles Grand Slam titles.

Hingis, on the other hand, apart from winning the 1997 Wimbledon women’s singles crown, has also clinched the 1996, 1998 and 2015 women’s doubles trophies, the last of which came on Saturday with another Indian, Sania Mirza.

This was, however, her maiden appearance in a mixed doubles final here and she made it count. Peya and Babaos were completely dominated from the word go.

Paes and Hingis broke their fifth seeded opponents five times in the match, twice in the first set and thrice in the second, to completely drub the Austrian-Hungarian combine.

In exchange, Paes and Hingis did not even give their opponents a single breakpoint opportunity in the entire match. So dominant, the seventh seeds were that they won 55 of the 75 points played in the match, giving no chance to Peya and Babos.

Earlier on Sunday, Sumit Nagal made sure the Indian flag soared high much before Paes’ match. Nagal etched his name in the history books by winning the Wimbledon boys’ doubles title with Vietnamese partner Nam Hoang Ly.

The 17-year-old Nagal and Ly, seeded eighth, defeated American-Japanese fourth seeds Reilly Opelka and Akira Santillan 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final in an hour and three minutes on No.1 Court.

Both pairs broke each other once to push the first set in to the tie-breaker where Nagal and Ly proved a tad bit better to win the set and take the lead in the match.

The eighth seeds were offered only one breakpoint opportunity in the second set which they grabbed with open hands to get the break of serve and win the set and the match.

The New Delhi-born, right-handed player had also entered the boys’ singles competition. However, he was ousted from the category in his opener when he lost to Argentinean Juan Pablo Ficovich in three sets.

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