Top seeds Leander Paes and Cara Black of Zimbabwe advanced to the mixed doubles quarterfinals at Wimbledon with a straight sets win over Andre Sa and Ai Sugiyama on Thursday.
Paes-Black saved each one of the six break points they let slip while breaking their opponents thrice in the match to come out 6-3, 6-3 winners in 58 minutes. “It was good fun out there today, mast raha,” Paes told HT after the match. “When Cara serves well like she did today, everything else falls into place.”
Justifying their top billing, the duo seemed to hardly sweat much for the win.
“Arre! It's quiet hot here, so we did sweat our bit,” laughed Paes. “But seriously, playing mixed with Cara is good fun as we gel so well. That, of course, also comes from the fact that I have played doubles with both her brothers (Wayne and Byron) in the past and as such have known her for long.”
“Further, we both come from similar backgrounds as far as struggle with lack of infrastructure in our formative years goes. So we do connect well.”
Sa and Sugiyama, seeded 11th, sent down seven double faults and managed 21 unforced errors as they struggled to keep up with their experienced opponents.
Winner of nine Grand Slam titles overall, Paes has won two Wimbledon mixed doubles titles before-with Lisa Raymond in 1999 when he clinched a double (including the men's) and with Martina Navratilova in 2003.
Zimbabawe's Black is also a multiple Slam champion and the experienced duo clinched the US Open mixed doubles in 2008.
The pair next faces Stephen Huss and Virginia Ruano Pascual. They survived a tough clash against fourth seeds Kevin Ullyett and Su-Wei Hseih, winning 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 in over two hours.
Paes offers his take on just how he is looking at the remaining matches: “It's time to go for my fifth Wimbledon title!”