Paes Earns Historic Win In Mixed Doubles
Tennis legend secures Roland Garros title
Leander Paes partnered Martina Hingis to the Roland Garros mixed doubles title, rallying to win 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 against No. 2 seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig. Paes became the third player in the Open Era to win a career Grand Slam in both men’s and mixed doubles (Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde).
“[Communication and hard work] is why we won a career Grand Slam Grand Slam,” Paes said. “We started playing together 18 months ago. To finish a career Grand Slam in 18 months takes a little bit of doing.
“I had to learn a few things on the court on how to play mixed on the clay. I knew how to do it on grass and hard courts where your footing is better. But we learned something in the second-round match here. Martina actually taught me to basically cover my line. We played to our strategy.”
Paes and Hingis only won one point returning Dodig/Mirza’s first serves in the opening set, but gradually found their rhythm. The experienced doubles players rushed the net with success and secured the win when Dodig netted a forehand approach. They are the second mixed doubles team in the Open Era to complete a career Grand Slam (Marty Riessen/Margaret Court).
The 42-year-old Paes owns the Open Era men's record with 10 mixed doubles titles. The Indian reached No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings in 1999 and won Roland Garros three times in men’s doubles (1999, 2001 and 2009).