LONDON, July 9: Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina will have to wait for their first Grand Slam title together as they lost the closely fought Wimbledon mixed doubles summit clash to Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond on Sunday. The fourth seeded Indo-Russian pair suffered a 3-6, 7-5, 4-6 defeat at the hands of second seed Americans after battling for two hours and four minutes.
It is for the second time in this season that Paes and Vesnina have ended runners-up at a tennis Major as they had lost the final of the Australian Open in January to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tecau.
Nevertheless, it was creditable performance by Paes after a stormy build up to the Wimbledon, caused by selection drama for London Olympics. Paes was forced to pair with lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan after both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to play with him. Paes was teamed with Sania Mirza for the mixed doubles event.
Although Sania did not refuse to play alongside Paes, she made it clear that her preferred partner was Bhupathi, with whom she has won two Grand Slam titles.
The 38-year-old is the highest Grand Slam title winner for India with 13 trophies, six of them are mixed doubles.
In the final, Vesnina served brilliantly and Paes too played well but the margin of error was little against the strong pair of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond, who had a superb all round game. Agencies