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Indian Duo Win Mixed Doubles Tennis Title
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Indian veteran Leander Paes won his second Asian Games gold medal of the day in the mixed doubles event with Sania Mirza at the Khalifa Tennis Courts on Wednesday.

The Indian duo needed two hours and 20 minutes to combat off the Japanese team of Satoshi Iwabuchi and Akiko Morigami in a thrilling three sets match 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.

Paes and Mirza started nervously and hit lots of unforced errors early in the first set as the Japanese duo settled to take a 2-0 lead before the Indians adjusted to the court and the conditions.

At 5-5, Paes' volley proved crucial in breaking Morigami's serve. Mirza hit a great lob in the following game on her won serve while Paes added to the joy of the Indian crowd with his fantastic reflexes. A missed return from Iwabuchi handed the set to the Indians 7-5.

In the second set, the Japanese pair cruised to an early 3-0 lead. Iwabuchi showed some brilliant skill at the net while Morigami produced some fine returns. They then held on to win the set 7-5.

Paes and Mirza came out in the third set looking fierce and took control from the start. The Indians won the first four games of the set before the Japanese finally won a game. Paes hit the winning smash to secure the gold medal at 6-2.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2006)

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