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Sania in final of mixed doubles

Sania Mirza

New York: Sania Mirza is in line to win her third Grand Slam title, and first with new partner Bruno Soares, as the top-seeded pair struggled past Yung-Jan Chan and Ross Hutchins to reach the mixed doubles summit clash, here.

The Indo-Brazilian team overcame the unseeded Tapiei-German combine 7-5, 4-6, 10-7 in the semi-finals, which lasted one hour and 33 minutes.

The last-four pairs contest was very close as both teams broke each other four times and Sania and Soares won overall 74 points, only three more than their rivals.

Sania and Soares are up against unseeded pair of Abigail Spears from the US and Santiago Gonzalez from Mexico.

It will be Sania’s fifth mixed doubles final appearance at the Grand Slam level, having won Australian Open (2009, 2012) twice with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.

The 27-year old had reached the Australian Open mixed doubles final this year also, but ended runners-up with Romanian partner Horea Tecau.

All the other Indians have already exited from the last Grand Slam of the season as Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes fell at different stages of their respective events.

In the 2014 Australian Open, Sania had reached the final of the mixed doubles, partnering Romanian Horia Tecau. But they lost in the final to Kristinal Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor 3-6, 2-6.

At the French Open, Sania, retaining Tecau as partner, however could not make much of a mark. The pair lost in the second round itself.

Sania’s campaign at the 2014 Wimbledon mixed doubles came to an end when she, along with Tecau again, lost 5-7, 3-6 to the 10th-seeded British-Australian pair of Jamie Murray and Casey Dellacqua in the pre-quarters.

Sania and Tecau were seeded sixth, but failed to live upto their billing. Things had not looked good for the Indo-Romanian pair from the very start as they lost serve in the fifth game of the first set to trail 3-2.

Although Sania and Tecau got things back on serve at 4-4 after getting the crucial break-back, they eventually lost the set 7-5 in 46 minutes.

In the second set, Murray and Dellacqua were a bit more proactive in taking opportunities on their opponents’ serve and held on to a crucial break in the fourth game to wrap up the match 7-5, 6-3 after one hour and 22 minutes.

Unable to win the trophy in any of the three Grand Slams, Sania finally changed partner for the US Open, teaming up with Brazilian Soares. The fact that they have made it to the final here has justified her move.