A beaming Sania Mirza squealed and jumped into the arms of her partner, Brazil's Bruno Soares, as the top seeds sealed a 6-1, 2-6, 11-9 win over American Abigail Spears and Mexico's Santiago Gonzalez in exactly an hour in the mixed doubles final of the US Open. While Soares thanked all the Indian and Brazilian supporters, the Hyderabadi said she had a lot of fun competing this fortnight and was "delighted to win".
The top-seeds blasted off the blocks, but were pegged back in the second set, with the duo dropping the second when Gonzalez put away a difficult backhand volley on the deciding point of the eighth game.
In the super tie break, Sania and Soares jumped to a 3-1 and then 5-2 lead. Though the Mexican helped his team to pull back to 4-5, the top-seeds pulled their weight to push ahead to 8-4, aided by a Spears' double fault.
Sania and Soares then squandered five championship points, allowing their opponents to level at 9-9, before closing out, giving the Indian her third Grand Slam mixed doubles titles and her first at Flushing Meadows.
Friday's was Sania's sixth Grand Slam final, her fifth mixed doubles final. The Hyderabadi has won two mixed-doubles titles, at the Australian Open (2009) with Mahesh Bhupathi and French Open in 2012 (also with Bhupathi). Sania also made the title round of the Australian Open in January this year with Horia Tecau.
On Thursday, Swiss ace Martina Hingis and Italian Flavia Pennetta outplayed third seeds Sania and Cara Black 6-2, 6-4 in the women's doubles semifinals. The unseeded combine, who rode on a mix of reputation and range, came through in 70 minutes late. Hingis and Pennetta play Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the title round on Saturday.