Mirza wins first slam

MELBOURNE - Sania Mirza became the first Indian woman to win a senior grand slam title when she teamed up with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi to win the Australian Open mixed doubles yesterday.

MELBOURNE - Sania Mirza became the first Indian woman to win a senior grand slam title when she teamed up with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi to win the Australian Open mixed doubles yesterday.

The two Indian wildcards rebounded from their loss in last year's Australian Open final to beat Nathalie Dechy of France and Israel's Andy Ram 6-3 6-1 at Melbourne Park.

Mirza, 22, had already achieved a series of firsts for Indian women tennis players, including the highest ranking of 18.

She became the first Indian female to capture any grand slam title when she partnered Russia's Alisa Kleybanova to win the 2003 Wimbledon junior doubles then in 2005 she became the first Indian woman to win a WTA event when she won at Hyderabad.

Yesterday's victory provided the more experienced Bhupathi with his 11th grand slam title. The 34-year-old has now won four doubles titles, including three with compatriot Leander Paes, and seven mixed doubles titles, all with different partners.

Bhupathi and his Bahamas partner Mark Knowles were beaten by Mike and Bob Bryan in the men's doubles final on Saturday. Yesterday's win was India's second title at this year's Australian Open after 16-year-old Yuki Bhambri won the junior boys final on Saturday. - Reuters

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