» Sports » Sania-Myneni win mixed doubles gold at Asian Games

Sania-Myneni win mixed doubles gold at Asian Games

Last updated on: September 29, 2014 20:36 IST
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India's Sania Mirza (right) and Saketh Myneni celebrate after winning the gold medal in the mixed tennis event. Photograph: PTI Photos

Sania Mirza and Saketh Myneni proved too strong for the Chinese Taipei combination of Hsien Yin Peng and Hao Ching Chan to win the gold in the mixed doubles final at the Asian Games, in Incheon, on Monday.

- Medals tally: 2014 Asian Games

The second seeded Indians won 6-4, 6-3 in 69 minutes as the country’s tennis campaign at the Games ended with five medals.

Earlier, Myneni combined with Sanam Singh to win the men’s doubles silver after losing to South Korea's Yongkyu Lim and Hyeon Chung in the final.

The fifth seeded Indian men’s pair was beaten 5-7, 6-7(2) in an hour and 29 minutes.

Sania Mirza (right) and Saketh Myneni with the Indian tricolour after winning the gold medal in the mixed doubles tennis event. Photograph: PTI Photos

The defeat for the Indian men meant that Sanam could not win a second consecutive gold at the Asian Games, having won one with Somdev devvarman at the Guangzhou Games in 2010.

India had won five medals at the 2010 Games too, but two of them were gold. Nevertheless, it was a commendable show by the young Indian players, who performed admirably in the absence of top players, Leander Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna, who had to pull out of the Games to salvage their season on the professional circuit.

Yuki Bhambri had won two bronze medals --in the men's singles and doubles with Divij Sharan -- while Sania and Prarthana Thombare won bronze in the women's doubles.

Interestingly, Sania, now has eight Asian Games medals.

Myneni, playing in the Asian Games for the first time, was not only terrific with his big service, but very agile at the net too, repeatedly volleying winners.

The Indian pair targetted Hao and many a times the Taipei girl took the furious shot hit by Myneni on her body.

The Indians broke Hao in the seventh game to take a mini lead in the first set, in which they did not face a single break-point.

After that break, the set went on serve and was closed when Peng hit a backhand wide on Myneni's serve.

Sania Mirza (right) and Saketh Myneni pose with their gold medals. Photograph: PTI Photos

Saketh-Sania made a perfect start in the second set, breaking Peng in the first game on to see the break neutralised when Sania dropped serve in the fourth game. After being down 0-40, Sania-Saketh saved two break-points but hit a backhand out and dropped serve.

However, they got the break back soon. Again it was Hao who was targetted. Sania's backhand winner and unforced error from the Taipei girl handed the Indians two chances and the second seeds latched on to the second one.

Sania came up with a splendid service game in the next even as the pressure mounted on the Taipei players, who were serving to stay in the match.

Peng made unforced errors and was down two match-points. He saved the first with an ace but on deuce Hao sent a forehand to net, giving the Indians their first gold in the sport in this edition.

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