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
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
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
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)