Melbourne, Feb 1: Melbourne, Feb 1: Ace Indian tennis player Leander Paes won his 15th Grand Slam title on Sunday when he and Martina Hingis of Switzerland clinched the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open here. [List of Leander Paes's Grand Slam titles]
The seventh seed Indo-Swiss pair beat third seed pair of Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3 in just over one hour at the Rod Laver Arena.
It was the seventh mixed doubles title for 41-year-old Paes while Hingis, 34, won her 11th doubles Slam apart from five singles titles.
The Swiss ace came out of retirement for the second time a couple of years ago. She said after winning that she didn't expect to return to the centrestage 20 years after making debut. Hingis had made her debut as a professional tennis player in 1994 when she was only 14.
Once again, Leander Paes, at 41, proves he's one of India's most valuable athletes. Wins mixed doubles title with 34-yr-old Martina Hingis.
Once again, Leander Paes, at 41, proves he's one of India's most valuable athletes. Wins mixed doubles title with 34-yr-old Martina Hingis.— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) February 1, 2015
The Indo-Swiss duo broke the Canadian-French pair once in the first set and twice in the second. The duo came together last year only. Hingis thanked her idol, the legendary Martina Navratilova, for suggesting Paes's name as her mixed doubles partner.
"I am thankful to Martina (Navratilova) for getting me partner Paes. Not even in my wildest dreams would I have believed that 20 years later I'd be standing here again," said an excited Hingis - winner of three singles Australian Open titles in 1997, '98 and '99.
Navratilovia, who also partnered Paes to clinch the Australian Open and Wimbledon mixed-doubles crown in 2003, was in the stands to watch the tennis veterans play.