SPORT

Paes-Martina falter at the final hurdle

HEARTBREAK: Martina Navratilova missed out on a 59th Grand slam title when she and her partner Leander Paes were beaten in the mixed doubles final.

HEARTBREAK: Martina Navratilova missed out on a 59th Grand slam title when she and her partner Leander Paes were beaten in the mixed doubles final.  

HEARTBREAK: Martina Navratilova missed out on a 59th Grand slam title when she and her partner Leander Paes were beaten in the mixed doubles final.

PARIS: The last Indian hope in the French Open extinguished as Leander Paes, seeded sixth alongwith tennis great Martina Navratilova, lost the mixed open final 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Fabrice Santoro and Daniela Hantuchova at the Roland Garros.

Playing on the Suzzane Lenglen Court, Leander and Martina won the first set and looked set to wrap up the match but then Santoro and Hantuchova, who beat four seeded pairs en route to the final, made a decisive break at 4-3 to win the second set and come back into the match.

Leander and Navratilova gained momentum in the deciding set, breaking in the second game after a spectacular rally to go up 2-0. But Navratilova, who needs four more titles to equal the 62 of Margaret Court, and her partner Leander literally disintegrated as a blazing Santoro and Hantuchova reeled off the last six games of the match to notch up the victory on Friday.

``It's amazing for her age what she still does,'' Hantuchova said. ``It's difficult to play against them because,'' she paused, ``it's amazing what she still can do.''

Hantuchova, who is 22, wasn't yet born when Navratilova started playing Grand Slams in the 1970s. Navratilova has 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 in doubles, and nine in mixed doubles. — UNI

Recommended for you