Indian tennis fans' much awaited dream combination is all set to happen at last as Sania Mirza will partner Mahesh Bhupathi in the mixed doubles at the Wimbledon starting on Monday.
The duo were expected to come together at the French Open three weeks ago but their combined doubles ranking fell outside the cut-off mark. Bhupathi's recent improvement since then to 20th place in the ATP computer seems to have helped their case, though.
Sania brushed aside apprehensions about facing Yaroslava Shvedova, who had beaten her on the way to winning the title at Bangalore Open earlier this year, in opening round of women's singles.
"Not a bad draw considering that this is a Grand Slam," the 20-year old Indian told PTI.
The Hyderabadi girl has a 1-2 win-loss record on grass this year going into the Grand Slam where she had usually been at her best in previous two years.
"She's hitting the ball well but lost two very tight matches against two top-30 players, Maria Santangelo and Francesca Schiavone," Sania's father Imran Mirza said.
"Coming back to top level play from surgery is never an easy prospect and it takes a while to get back the confidence to win," he added.
Former ATP Tour player Gabriel Urpi of Spain, who coached Sania at Roland Garros, assisted her at the Ordina Open in Holland last week and would be tutoring her at the Wimbledon as well.
In women's doubles, Sania will combine with Israeli Sahar Peer.