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Paes-Hingis clinches Australian Open crown

Martina Hingis and Leander Paes pose for photographs with the Australian Open mixed doubles champion’s trophy in Melbourne on Sunday.
 MELBOURNE, Feb 1 (IANS): India’s Leander Paes and his Swiss partner Martina Hingis beat French-Canadian pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor in straight sets to win the Australian Open mixed doubles crown here Sunday.

 Paes and Hingis, seeded seventh, beat the third seeds 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and two minutes.

India’s 41-year-old veteran tennis star with this won his 15th Grand Slam title. Paes and Hingis were in control throughout and took just 29 minutes to take the first set 6-4.

The third seeds came back strongly and broke the Indian-Swiss team early to take a 2-1 lead in second set.

However, it was all downhill from thereon for Mladenovic and Nestor as Paes and Hingis broke their serves twice in a row to establish a 4-2 lead.

The French-Canadian team did manage to win another game but it proved to be a mere consolation as Paes and Hingis finished the set 6-3 in 33 minutes to take home the first Grand Slam title of the year. This was Paes’ seventh mixed doubles Grand Slam title - his first with Hingis, a former World No.1 in women’s singles. Hingis, 34, won her first Grand Slam title since 2006. Incidentally, that was also a mixed doubles title here with another Indian, Mahesh Bhupathi.

Here is the complete list of men’s and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles India’s tennis icon has won:

Men’s doubles (eight titles):

1. 1999 French Open with Mahesh Bhupathi

2. 1999 Wimbledon with Mahesh Bhupathi

3. 2001 French Open with Mahesh Bhupathi

4. 2006 US Open with Martin Damm

5. 2009 French Open with Lukas Dlouhy

6. 2009 US Open with Lukas Dlouhy

7. 2012 Australian Open with Radek Stepanek

8. 2013 US Open with Radek Stepanek

Mixed doubles (seven titles):

1. 1999 Wimbledon with Lisa Raymond

2. 2003 Australian Open with Martina Navratilova

3. 2003 Wimbledon with Martina Navratilova

4. 2008 US Open with Cara Black

5. 2010 Australian Open with Cara Black

6. 2010 Wimbledon with Cara Black

7. 2015 Australian Open with Martina Hingis

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