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Paes and Black win Australian Open mixed doubles

Paes and Black win Australian Open mixed doubles

In the world of mixed doubles, practice time is a privilege.
Top-seeded Leander Paes and Cara Black spent all of 45 minutes warming up together in their run to the final. But it was all they needed.
Paes of India and Black of Zimbabwe won the Australian Open mixed doubles title Sunday, beating Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Jaroslav Levinsky of Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.
The win gives them a second Grand Slam trophy to add to their 2008 U.S. Open title.
"That's what won it for us today, is that our individual play, our instincts are very well-matched together," said 36-year-old Paes, a doubles veteran. He now has 41 doubles titles that include six Grand Slam doubles titles and five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, including the 2003 Australian Open with Martina Navratilova.
For Black, the win completes a set of four. She now has one from each Grand Slam mixed doubles tournament: 2004 Wimbledon and 2002 Roland Garros, both of which she played with her brother, Wayne.
"It's the one that's been eluding me," said Black.
Part of the obstacle to practice time was Black's busy schedule in Melbourne.
Black also made it to the Australian Open women's doubles final with Liezel Huber, where they lost in straight sets to Venus and Serena Williams.
"It's a privilege to get practice time with Cara," Leander joked. "Playing on the court as a match, we do it quite often, but practice is a privilege. We actually enjoy warming up together. We give each other good rhythm."
For the tournament overall, how much warming up did they do?
"Uhm, 45 minutes this morning," Black said.
That's a luxury compared to their opponents, who met each other five minutes before their first-round match.
"We finished in the finals, so it's not bad for the first tournament," said Levinsky, who saw on the mixed doubles sign-up sheet that Makarova was looking for a partner.
"So I sent her a text message asking if she wanted to play. She said 'Yes, let's play.' That's why we're sitting here now," he said. "It worked out pretty good I guess."
He said the pair hopes to play together for future tournaments.
The charismatic Paes, who does most of the talking, said he plans to stick with Black.
"Chivalry still lives in tennis and India and on the tennis tour," he said. "If she'll have me, we'll still be together."


Updated : 2021-05-09 07:47 GMT+08:00