Sania and Vesnina in French Open doubles final
Paris: Sania Mirza stormed into her first Grand Slam doubles final as she and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina defeated American duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in a thrilling three-setter in the semi-finals of the French Open.
Seeded seventh in the tournament, Sania and Vesnina beat their fourth seeded opponents 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in 105 minute semi-final contest at the Roland Garros.
In the final, the Indo-Russian combo will face the unseeded Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka who beat third seeded pair of Vania King of United States and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-3 in another semi-final.
This is Sania`s third Grand Slam final appearance in her career -- the first two being in the mixed doubles in the Australian Open.
Sania and ace compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi had won the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2009 while they were the losing finalists in the same Grand Slam tournament in 2008. Sania, who paired up with Vesnina only in February, had a strap around just below her left knee but did not show any apparent problem as she played some superb winning shots across the net.
Sania and Vesnina broke their opponents early in the first set to race to 4-1 ahead before pocketing it 6-3 in 30 minutes.
The second set was a longer affair with both sides breaking serves though Sania and Vesnina were broken thrice in their serves to lose it 2-6 in 38 minutes. In the deciding set, Sania and Vesnina broke their opponents` serve in the first game itself and held theirs to take a 2-0 lead.