India's Leander Paes and Cara Black of Zimbabwe were outclassed by Americans Travis Parrott and Carly Gullickson 2-6, 4-6 in the mixed doubles final of the US Open tennis tournament in New York on Thursday.
<b1>Defending champions Paes and Black struggled to find their rhythm and hardly put up a fight going down in just over an hour against wild cards Parrott and Gullickson, who won their maiden Grand Slam title together.
For the second successive year, Paes was in line for two titles here, having reached the doubles final with Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic. In 2008, Paes won the mixed doubles with Black but lost in the men's doubles final.
Paes would be now hoping to topple compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas in the doubles final to win his career's 10th Grand Slam title.
Paes and Black had put up an impressive performance coming into the final, but they lost their touch in the all-important match.
Black was all over the place with her shots and also struggled to hold her service games. She was broken thrice in the match. Paes himself was in danger of dropping his serve twice.
In fact, Paes was down two break points in the first game, but managed well to hold.
Black's serve came under attack and she was broken in the third game and at love in the seventh as Parrot and Gullickson opened up a 5-2 lead.
Parrot and Gullickson served strong and did not face a breakpoint in the first set. They dug deep to come out with big shots on crucial points and controlled the net with ease.
Paes and Black had a chance when they broke Gullickson in the second set while she was serving for the match in the eighth game. Paes saved the matchpoint with a backhand winner and then reduced the defecit by holding his serve. But Parrott dashed their chances of comeback, serving out the match in the next game.
"When we broke them we felt we have a chance of a comeback. But our opponents were too good. They really played very well," said Paes.