Tarun Reflex

September 5, 2008

Leander Paes, Cara Black win US Open Mixed Doubles

 NEW YORK: India’s Leander Paes won his second US Open and fourth Grand Slam mixed doubles title here at the Flushing Meadows when he and his Zimbabwean partner Cara Black beat Scot Jamie Murray and American Liezel Huber in the final 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 late Thursday night.

Leander, who won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles with Martina Navratilova and another with Lisa Raymond, partnered Cara for the first time, but the two gelled so well it looked as if they were regular partners.

Both Paes and Cara showed excellent hands as they complemented each other with their deft touch play. The fifth seeds did not face a break point in the entire match, but they were in real danger of losing the first set when they were down 2-5 and then a set point in the tie-breaker.

Cara produced two great volleys to pull them out of a tight corner. They went on to clinch the set, taking the next two points, Paes putting away a customary volley.

Easily the quickest doubles player at the net on the circuit, Paes was in a spot of bother when he double-faulted twice in the fifth game but he wriggled out with two good serves.

Till the tie-breaker, the only breakpoints came when Leizel was down 15-40 in the eighth game.

Once they were through with the first set, Paes and Cara gained control over the match, breaking Murray’s serve in the fifth game as the Briton had a double fault. Then an inspired Cara produced a beauty to leave Murray and Huber struggling to stay in the match.

When Cara held her serve in the eighth game of the second set, it was all over for Murray and Huber as Paes only had to serve out the match which he did in style.

The absorbing tussle ended after an hour and 37 minutes and Paes and Cara shared the winners’ $150,000 prize money.

Paes, who said this US Open was going to be special for him, is also figuring in the men’s doubles final with his Czech partner Lukas Dloughy. They play Bryan twins Bob and Mike.


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