This French Open title is for my daughter Saira, says Mahesh Bhupathi

With French Open in bag Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi are now eying the Olympics with lot of confidence. The all-Indian combine of Bhupathi and Sania Mirza clinched their second Grand Slam mixed doubles title as a team, beating the unseeded pairing of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik of Poland and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 in the French Open final late on Thursday, says a report in The Times Of India.

Bhupathi, who turned 38 on Thursday, dedicated the win to his four-month old daughter Saira. “This title has come after a long time,” he said during the presentation ceremony, “It is my first title after my daughter was born. This is for her.” An ecstatic Sania told the gathering, “It’s Mahesh’s birthday today and I am glad we won because now I don’t have to think of a gift for him.”

Bhupathi won his first Grand Slam title in Roland Garros 15-years ago – the mixed doubles crown with Japanese Rika Hiraki. “I wasn’t worried that it had been a while since I won a Grand Slam title, last year I made two finals. If I hadn’t made those finals I would have been worried, but when you put yourself in contention often enough, it is bound to click some time.”

Meanwhile a report in Hindustan Times says that 38-year-old Bhupathi celebrated his birthday in grand style, adding a 12 th Grand Slam to his already impressive resume. Partnering Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles final at Roland Garros, they took a little over an hour to lift the winners’ trophy.

The seventh-seeds, playing their third Grand Slam final together, faced a few tense moments in the first set but brutally thrashed Poland’s Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gozalez of Mexico in the second for a 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“We started playing better as the match progressed. More freely,” a satisfied Bhupathi told HT from Paris. “With the format (mixed doubles) of this game, one has to make the right shots. And we made the shots that counted.”

As the Indian contingent celebrated the French Open win over an Indian dinner, partner Sania could only be ecstatic. “What else can one say after winning a Slam! I’m absolutely delighted to have won my second Slam with Mahesh, especially on his birthday,” the 25year-old quipped.