ROLAND GARROS 2012
Birthday Boy Bhupathi Wins Paris Mixed Crown
by ATP Staff|
Celebrating his 38th birthday on Thursday, Mahesh Bhupathi captured his eighth mixed doubles crown, partnering countrywoman Sania Mirza to a 7-6(3), 6-1 Roland Garros final victory over Santiago Gonzalez and Klaudia Jans-Ignacik.
"What more can a guy ask for [on] his birthday? That's an amazing day to play a Grand Slam final on your birthday," said Bhupathi. "It's happened twice to me, both wins and both here in Paris. Now we're going to go celebrate."
The seventh seeds, competing in their third Grand Slam final together, won 79 per cent of their first serve points and broke Gonzalez and Jans-Ignacik four times to seal the win in 73 minutes. The victory marked their second team title after they won the 2009 Australian Open.
"We play a dangerous kind of tennis," Bhupathi said. "When we're playing well, it's kind of hard to beat us. We played well the whole two weeks here, so I think we deserved to win."
Bhupathi adds to his Roland Garros mixed triumph in 1997, when he teamed up with Japan's Rika Hiraki to become the first player from India to lift a Grand Slam trophy. He completed a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles in 2006 and has now won each mixed title twice. Bhupathi also has four men’s doubles majors, including two in Paris.
Gonzalez was appearing in his first Grand Slam final as a professional, having reached the Wimbledon junior doubles final with Bruno Echagaray in 2001.