Paes-Sania win gold in mix doubles

Lion-hearted Paes showed no signs of fatigue as the Indian duo scripted a 7-5 5-7 6-2 win over the Japanese.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 01:31 IST

Leander Paes set the Asian Games tennis arena ablaze by grabbing two gold medals as he claimed the men's doubles title and then paired up with Sania Mirza to bag the mixed doubles crown with a hard-fought victory over their Japanese rivalson Wednesday.

Barely hours after teaming up with Mahesh Bhupathi to fetch India's a gold medal in the doubles event, the lion-hearted Paes showed no signs of fatigue as the Indian duo scripted a 7-5 5-7 6-2 victory over Satoshi Iwabuchi and Akiko Morigami in a summit showdown lasting two hours 20 minutes.

With the addition of one more gold medal, the Indians completed their tennis engagements in the Asian Games with two gold and two silver medals.

Sania had won a silver in the women's singles and India had finished second behind Chinese Taipei in the women's team event.

It was a tremendous show of stamina and grit as both Paes and Sania had played gruelling matches before taking the court for the mixed doubles event under floodlights at a nearly-packed Khalifa stadium.

Paes took the bulk of the load and displayed some acrobatic shots as the Indian pair wrapped up the first set in 55 minutes much to the delight of the crowd.

But the Japanese pair came back strongly to claim the second set in 47 minutes to force a decider.

The top seeded Indians, however, found the going relatively easier in the third set as their Japanese opponents wilted under pressure to lose 6-2, triggering off scenes of celebrations in the stands.

First Published: Dec 14, 2006 01:31 IST