Sania,Mahesh find the right mix

As Mahesh Bhupathi hugged Sania Mirza and stood facing the cameras with a wide smile that showed no signs of leaving his face anytime soon...

Written by Shreya Chakravertty | New Delhi | Published: February 1, 2009 2:24:49 am

As Mahesh Bhupathi hugged Sania Mirza and stood facing the cameras with a wide smile that showed no signs of leaving his face anytime soon,it was hard to remember the heart-rending loss he had been dealt less than 24 hours ago. Bhupathi and Knowles went down in the men’s doubles final to Mike and Bob Bryan on Saturday,but the Indian’s title aspirations were still alive in the mixed doubles and a quick mental recovery was essential.

“It obviously wasn’t an ideal situation,but it was something that had to be done. My team helped me keep positive,” said Bhupathi,speaking to The Indian Express after he and Sania defeated Nathalie Dechy of France and Israel’s Andy Ram 6-3,6-1 to win their first Slam together. While this was Bhupathi’s 11th,Sania got her first. “It’s always a dream to win a Grand Slam. It makes it more special because it’s with someone that I know for so long,” said Sania.

“This was my first Grand Slam final,and nerves obviously come into the picture. But I think we stepped it up after the first few games,and then suddenly we were on a roll,” she added.

The 22-year-old was playing in her first Grand Slam after surgery,and this will be a comeback to remember. In Sunday’s final,her stinging volleys left the opposition flat-footed on a few points,and her efforts were praised by her doubles partner. “I was telling Sania after the match that I’ve played with her so many times before,but the volleys today were by far the best I’ve seen her play. She’s playing after a long time,but it doesn’t surprise me at all to see how fit she is.

“Our opponents have won a Slam before,so they obviously know what they’re doing,but we came out all guns blazing from the start. I’m looking forward to playing other Slams with Sania too,” said Bhupathi.

Sania to miss Fed Cup

The already weakened Indian Fed Cup team will now have to do without Sania Mirza as well. The Indian,who was scheduled to fly to Perth after the Australian Open,will now return to India to recover from an abdominal injury. The team now have an even tougher task on their hands,with Australia and New Zealand among the competition.

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