After notching up their second Grand Slam title together at French Open, Indian mixed doubles pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza said they will now look to make the transition from clay to grass to keep their Olympics preparation on track.
Bhupathi and Sania’s mixed doubles title triumph at the French Open has raised hopes of a medal in the Olympics and the Indian pair said they are looking forward to playing together at the London Games.
“We’ve got to make the transition from clay to grass, and yes like I said, just keep the rhythm going and hopefully we can win a few more slams. And if we go to the Olympics and make it there - obviously try to win a medal there,” said Sania.
The victory at Ronald Garros is the second career Grand Slam title for Sania while it is the 12th Major trophy for Bhupathi, who now has eight mixed doubles triumph under his belt.
“We’re looking forward to playing together and if we get that opportunity to play the Olympics, hopefully we’ll be able to fire like we did this week and contend for a medal,” said Bhupathi.
“We’re off on the grass courts season tomorrow. She’s going to Birmingham; I am going to Queen’s club. It’s going to be a long grass courts season because the Olympics is on grass as well. We’re playing well,” Bhupathi told NDTV.
The Indian pair had missed out of a title at the 2008 Australian Open after finishing runners-up but they made up for the disappointment by winning the title in the next edition. This year, Bhupathi and Sania had reached the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Asked what makes the two click so well, Sania said: “There are many things. Number One, we complement each other’s game. And I think it’s really important because we’re really good friends and we’ve known each other for a very long time.
“I think the chemistry is really good and in tight moments that does show a little, but when you know someone that well. And we’ve been playing for a long time, we have been playing for a few years. So hopefully we’ll have a few more Grand Slams to win,” Saina said.
Bhupathi said it’s a special feeling to win a title after a gap of 15 years at the Roland Garros.
”...15 years later to be able to do it again, to do it with a really special friend of mine — Sania, for us to be representing India. There are so many different variables but all in all, it’s been a great day and we are just happy to win the title,” he said.
Sania said the win has come as a big relief for them after losing in their respective doubles campaign in the French Open last week.
“For the last two weeks we’ve played well together and it’s a great way to finish a disappointing week. Last week we lost the doubles earlier, so we’re obviously delighted to win this and now hopefully we can keep up the form,” she said.
Talking about the summit clash, Sania said, “It’s always hard. I mean we’re playing a Grand Slam. Everyone there’s to win it and this is what we’re playing for; just to win the slams. Nothing’s easy. We’re just happy to come through.”
Sania also praised Bhupathi and described him as one of the world’s best doubles players.
“He’s one of the best players ever and I am fortunate enough to be his partner and to win slams with him,” she said.
Sania said her husband Shoaib Malik watched the game on television and sent her and Bhupathi a congratulatory message.
“Yeah, he’s actually in India right now and I know that he was watching. And he sacrificed a Bollywood film to watch a match, which is huge. So yes he was watching. I haven’t spoken to him yet but on messages he’s obviously very happy.”