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French Open: Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina storm into doubles final.

Jun 2, 2011

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 semifinals of the
French Open here on Thursday.

Seeded seventh in the tournament, Sania
and Vesnina beat their fourth seeded
opponents 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in 105 minute
semifinal 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 semifinal.

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.
Huber and Raymond held onto their next
serve but Sania and Vesnina maintained
their two-point lead at 3-1 by winning the
fourth game. But in the sixth game, Sania
and Vesnina were broken and the score
was levelled 3-3.

The Indo-Russian pair responded in a
superb fashion by breaking their opponents
in the seventh game to surge ahead 4-3
before holding serve to make it 5-3.

Huber and Raymond held their serve in the
ninth game to make it 4-5. But Sania and
Vesnina held onto their nerves to ensure
that they did not blow away their serve to
take the third set 6-4 in 37 minutes and
reach their first Grand Slam final together.

Since their first pairing in February, Sania
and Vesnina had won two titles -- at Indian
Wells in March and in Charleston in April.