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Monday, April 15
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Paes-Black win mixed-doubles crown at Wimbledon


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London, July 4: India’s Leander Paes notched up his 12th Grand Slam title after he and his Zimbabwean partner Cara Black clinched the Wimbledon mixed doubles championship with a straight set victory in London.

 

Last year’s runners-up and second seeds Paes and Black beat 11th seeds South African-American pair of Wesley Moodie and Lisa Raymond 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the finals here.
With this win, Paes now have 12 Grand Slam titles -- six men’s doubles and six mixed doubles Grand Slam crowns -- one more than his estranged men’s doubles partner and fellow Indian Mahesh Bhupathi.
Paes and Black, who put up an impressive performance coming into the final, broke their rivals thrice and pocketed the first set 6-4 in just 37 minutes.

The first set featured as many as five breaks of serve, including one for every player in the first five games.

The second set, which turned out to be a grueling affair, saw both the parties held their serves, although both Black and Raymond each struggled in one game.
The Indo-Zimbabwean pair had earned a break point in the seventh game but couldn’t convert it. In the next game, Wesley and Lisa also failed to covert a break point as the set went into a tie-breaker after a 6-6 stalemate.

In the thrilling tie-breaker, the South African-American pair moved into the 4-2 lead but Paes and Black made a successful comeback with some sharp returns and surged ahead 6-5 before the Indian sealed the resounding victory with a volley at the net.

Paes and Black had each won the title before with different partners.
Paes has lifted the trophy twice previously - with Martina Navratilova in 2003 and Lisa Raymond in 1999 - while Black won it with brother Wayne in 2004. PTI


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