London: A vintage Leander Paes clinched his 16th Grand Slam trophy, winning the mixed doubles event at Wimbledon with his partner Martina Hingis after a dominating win over Alexander Peya and Timea Babos on Sunday.
The seventh seeded Indo-Swiss pair drubbed the fifth seeded Austrian-Hungarian team 6-1 6-1 in the lop-sided summit clash which was over in just 40 minutes.
It was the eighth mixed doubles title for Paes and his second with Hingis. They had won the Australian Open earlier this year. Paes, 42, also has eight men’s doubles crowns in his Grand Slam collection.
Paes’ win capped an incredibly successful Wimbledon for India as the country took three titles this year. Sania Mirza won the women’s doubles and Saumit Nagal won the junior boys doubles trophy.
After his remarkable win, Paes dedicated his trophy to India. “This Trophy is for India,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV. The 42-year old also disregarded the age factor saying, “Winning and getting old go together,” in the same interview.
For Hingis, it was the second title in as many days, having won the women’s doubles with Sania Mirza. Overall it was her 18th Major title and third in mixed doubles.
“With Leander, we played TeamTennis (in the United States) for the last two years. Since then it’s been a great ride for me. I feel already like quarter India,” said Hingis, whose last Wimbledon title before this weekend was back in 1998 in the women’s doubles.
“Been to India four times. I’m meeting the prime minister and everything. It was incredible today, the chemistry between myself and Leander,” she added.
Paes praised his partner saying,”Everyone knows what
Martina’s achieved over the years at Wimbledon. To come out there and do it back-to-back, the physical and mental effort that it takes to win two titles in the same week, is something really, really special.”
“Australia was something brand-new, something fresh, because it was the first time we were playing in a Grand Slam together. We played World TeamTennis for a couple years and we’re undefeated there. But to come and do it at Wimbledon is something really special,” Paes said.
Hingis was back on court less than 24 hours after that win with Sania but showed no sign of fatigue. She served well and was terrific at the net, complementing the Indian pro.
Paes and Hingis literally toyed with Peya and Babos, who surprisingly failed to put any resistance.
In no time Paes and Hingis pocketed the first set as all they needed was 19 minutes to nose ahead. The duo broke Babos in the fourth game and Peya in the sixth for a 5-1 cushion. Hingis served out the set when Paes smashed a volley winner.
Paes and Hingis kept the pressure on the opposition right from the first game of the second set. Peya failed to negotiate a Paes return at deuce to hand the seventh seeds grabbed the opportunity to break them.
Babos’ could not handle a Hingis return and the Indo-Swiss pair got an early break. There was no stopping them from there as they raced to victory in less than one hour.
Babos failed to hold her serve even once and it was on her return that Paes hit a deft backhand volley winner to close the contest.