New York: Sania Mirza clinched her third mixed doubles Grand Slam crown as she and partner Bruno Soares overcame a few anxious moments in the match tie-break to win the US Open here on Friday.
The Indo-Brazilian pair, the top seeds, squandered five championship points before registering a 6-1, 2-6, 11-9 win over USA’s Abigail Spears and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico. The match lasted exactly an hour.
After breezing through the first set, the way they did throughout the championship, Sania and Soares surrendered the second meekly.
In the match tie-break, the top-seeded combination got their act together, racing to a 9-4 lead. Spears and Gonzalez put up a fight to make it 9-9, saving five match points. However, helped by Soares’s serve, the No. 1 seeds took the next point and it was all over when Spears hit the ball long.
It was the first time Sania and Soares were playing together. “Playing with him is a lot of fun. He did not play with me all these years and I don’t know why,” said Sania. She also confirmed that the two will team up for next year’s Australian Open.
Sania’s previous titles came with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, the duo winning the Australian Open in 2009 and French Open in 2012. It was Soares’s second US Open mixed doubles crown. In 2012, he won the title along with Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.
On Thursday, Sania and Cara Black of Zimbabwe, the third seeds, lost in the women’s doubles semifinals to the unseeded Swiss-Italian pair of Martina Hingis and Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-4.