| Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi after losing the men’s doubles final at Wimbledon Saturday. (AFP)
London, July 5 (Reuters): Australian Todd Woodbridge clinched a record-equalling eighth men’s doubles title at Wimbledon on Saturday when he and Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Woodbridge, who won six of those titles with former partner Mark Woodforde and one with Bjorkman last year, matched the record set by brothers Hugh and Reggie Doherty between 1897 and 1905.
After losing the first set against Indian Bhupathi and his tall Belarussian partner Mirnyi, the top seeds, Woodbridge and Bjorkman won a pivotal third set tiebreak 7-4 and the fourth seeds went on to retain the title they won last year.
Woodbridge now has 14 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles to his name.
The 32-year-old is third on the all-time list of men’s doubles titles in the open era with 76, just one behind American John McEnroe and two behind Dutchman Tom Okker.
“It’s beyond belief that I could do anything like this,” said the 32-year-old.
“I need a good partner to do it, but when I started out on my career I never thought I could achieve this,” Woodbridge added.
Sania-Alisa in final
India’s Sania Mirza and Alisa Kleybanova of Russia moved into the final of girls’ doubles with a hard-fought victory over Ally Baker and Iris Ichim of the US. Sania and Kleybanova won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Sania and Kleybanova had beaten Finland’s Emma Laine and Croat Nadja Pavic 6-1, 6-2 in the quarter finals.
Indian official’s debut
Nitin Kannamwar will be the first Indian to officiate in a Wimbledon men’s singles final. He will be one of the line umpires. Sunday’s championship match will pit Australia’s Mark Philippoussis against Swiss Swiss Roger Federer.
Kannamwar, who coaches the Western Railway tennis team, is also the first Asian from ITF’s Star Trek team to have got an opportunity to officiate in a Grand Slam final, according to a Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) release.
Kannamwar is a bronze badge umpire and a silver badge referee and has officiated a chair umpire at the Australian, US, French Open and the Olympic Games.