'That's really special': Leander on Wimbledon title with Hingis
Indian tennis star Leander Paes defied his age to clinch the mixed doubles crown with Swiss partner Martina Hingis at Wimbledon, claiming his 16th Grand Slam title.tennis Updated: Jul 13, 2015 12:18 IST
Indian tennis star Leander Paes defied his age to clinch the mixed doubles crown with Swiss partner Martina Hingis at Wimbledon, claiming his 16th Grand Slam title.
Seeded seventh, 42-year-old Paes and Hingis completely thrashed Austrian-Hungarian fifth seeds Alexander Peya and Timea Babos 6-1, 6-1 in the final at the Centre Court on Sunday.
This is the fourth time Paes has won the mixed doubles title at the All England Club. In 1999, he won it with American Lisa Raymond, in 2003 with the legendary Martina Navratilova and in 2010 with Zimbabwean Cara Black.
"Coming out and playing like that on one of the most prestigious courts that we've grown up with and winning a title like that, again for the second time in a Grand Slam without losing a set, that is really special," he said after the Wimbledon crown.
Paes has the men's doubles title in his bag which he won at the same venue with Mahesh Bhupathi in 1999. Overall, the Calcutta-born now has eight mixed doubles and eight men's doubles Grand Slam titles.
His partner Hingis, apart from winning the 1997 Wimbledon women's singles crown, has also clinched the 1996, 1998 and 2015 women's doubles trophies, the last of which came on Saturday with another Indian ace, Sania Mirza. This was, however, her maiden appearance in a mixed doubles final at Wimbledon and she made it count.
"I think last night and today was just amazing, the emotions," Hingis said, "The chemistry we had today...It was incredible."
Hingis, the 1997 Wimbledon singles champion, claimed her third mixed title and her overall Grand Slam doubles tally now stands at 13.
For Paes, who played his first Wimbledon in 1993, it was a 16th Grand Slam doubles title.
"Australia was something brand new, something fresh, because it was the first time we were playing in a Grand Slam together," he said on his partner.
"We played World Team Tennis for a couple years and we're undefeated there. But to come and do it at Wimbledon is something really special.
"Everyone knows what Martina's achieved over the years at Wimbledon. To come out there and do it back-to-back, the physical and mental effort that it takes to win two titles in the same week, is something really, really special."
"This trophy is for India," he told NDTV later in an interview. "To represent the flag and my country is something I take very seriously."