Paes-Vesnina falter at final hurdle in Wimbledon

Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina

Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina will have to wait a little longer for their first Grand Slam title together as they finished runners-up in the Wimbledon mixed

doubles event, losing the summit clash to Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond.

The fourth seeded Indo-Russian pair suffered a 3-6 7-5 4-6 defeat at the hands of the second seed Americans after battling for two hours and four minutes on Sunday night.

It is for the second time in this season that Paes and Vesnina have ended runners-up at a tennis major after losing the final of the Australian Open in January to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tecau.

Nevertheless, it was a creditable performance from Paes after a stormy build up to the Wimbledon, caused by the selection drama for the London Olympics.

Paes was forced to pair up with lower-ranked Vishnu Vardhan after both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to play with him. Paes, however, was teamed up with Sania Mirza for the mixed doubles event.

Although Sania did not refuse to play alongside Paes, she made it clear that her preferred partner was Bhupathi, with whom she has won two Grand Slam titles.

Paes is the highest Grand Slam title winner for India with 13 trophies, six of them in mixed doubles.

In Sunday's match, Vesnina served brilliantly and Paes too played well but the margin of error was little against the strong pair of Mike Bryan and Raymond, who had a superb all round game.

It was the pair of Paes and Vesnina that got the first chance to go ahead but they squandered a break opportunity in the fifth game of the opening set.

The break chance came about following a brilliant rally by an agile Vesnina at the net.

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