Kolkata: Women’s world No.1 doubles star Sania Mirza, partnered by Mahesh Bhupathi, beat legends Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova 7-5, 7-5 in a Tennis Masters mixed doubles contest at the Netaji Indoor stadium here on Wednesday.
The 59-year-old Navratilova turned back the clock and produced some breath-taking tennis alongside Paes to take the first three games of the opening set.
But Sania, who has been in sparkling form this year, refused to give up. Though Bhupathi was slow to react, his partner, the current Wimbledon doubles champion, made up for it with some cross court and down the line winners. That helped Sania-Bhupathi to lead 5-3 in the first set.
Navratilova-Paes pulled it back to square it at 5-5. But Sania-Bhupathi broke them at a crucial juncture to pocket the first set 7-5.
By the start of the second set Sania and Bhupathi targeted Navratilova, who was finding it difficult to move around the court. But it was Paes-Navratilova who surged ahead in the second set 4-2 but this time too they couldn’t hold onto the momentum.
Similar to the first set, Sania-Bhupathi levelled at 5-5 and then utilised the momentum to seal the win by claiming the last two games.