Leander Paes' dream of winning the eighth Grand Slam title of his career came crashing down as the veteran Indian and his American partner Meghann Shaughnessy lost the mixed doubles title clash to Belarussian duo of Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka at the US Open in New York.
The Indo-US pair paid through the nose for their poor break point conversion rate (1 off 11) to concede the match 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) after a two-hour long battle.
After losing the first set narrowly, Paes and Shaughnessy had a chance to stage a fightback as they grabbed a 5-1 lead in the tie-breaker. However, they squandered four set points to end up as the runners-up and take home USD 70,000.
"We just about thought we had done enough to win the second set but these two came up with the goods when it really mattered," said Paes.
The 34-year-old Indian has won 1999 and 2001 French Open and 1999 Wimbledon titles with Mahesh Bhupathi, a 2006 US Open title with Czech Martin Damm, a 1999 Wimbledon mixed crown with Lisa Raymond and 2003 Wimbledon and Australian Open titles with Martina Navratilova.
It was the seventh Grand Slam doubles title for 30-year-old Mirnyi, while his 18-year-old partner Azarenka won her first Slam as the Belarussian pair became richer by USD 150,000.