Mixed day for Indians at Roland Garros: Sania-Bhupathi enter final while Leander-Vesnina knocked out of French Open

As Sania Mirza’s backhand winner blew away their opponents off the red claycourts of Roland Garros, the 25year-old could only smile. After all, the crushing shot earned herself and compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi a berth in the French Open mixed doubles final, says a report in Hindustan Times.
The Indian seventh seeds needed only 80 minutes to thrash the unseeded KazakItalian duo of Galina Voskoboeva and Daniele Bracciali 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday and book a place into their maiden final at Roland Garros.

“It’s absolutely thrilling to make my fourth Grand Slam final,” Sania told HT from Paris. “By entering my second straight final at Roland Garros, I feel I’ve come a long way in learning how to play on the red clay of Europe. I was least comfortable on the surface when I started my career,” she added.

This semifinal win took them to their third Grand Slam final. They had lost the 2008 Australian Open final but returned to clinch the title the following year.

Defending 1400 points, she needed to make it to the final to stay in the women’s doubles top-10 and clinch a direct London Olympic berth. Sania and Russian Elena Vesnina had won the women’s doubles here last year. Now, her Olympic dreams solely depend on the ITF’s Olympic Committee’s discretion of granting her a wildcard.

Meanwhile The Times Of India reports that it is for the third time that Sania and Bhupathi have reached a Grand Slam final together. They won the 2009 Australia Open and had ended runners-up at the same tournament in 2008. Sania had become first woman from India to win a Grand Slam in 2009 while Bhupathi has so far won 11 Major titles, seven of which are mixed doubles trophies. Leander Paes is the most successful Indian tennis player with 13 Grand Slam titles, seven of  which are men's doubles trophies with various partners.

Meanwhile the fifth-seeded pair of India’s Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina of Russia failed to cross the semifinal hurdle in the mixed doubles event at the Roland Garros on Wednesday. The Indo-Russian pair went down to unseeded combination of Poland’s Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 6-7 (2), 3-6.