London, July 9: Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina went down fighting to second seeds Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond in the Wimbledon mixed doubles final here Sunday.
The Indo-Russian pair fell short against the class of their American opponents, losing 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 amid closed roof of the Centre Court at SW 19. The fourth seeds, who had stunned top seeds Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber in semifinals Saturday, lost a close match lasting a little over two hours.
It was a second Grand Slam final appearance of the year for Paes and Vesnina after they finished runnersup at the Australian Open.
Paes was aiming for his fourth mixed doubles title here after the success of 1999, 2003 and 2010 with Lisa Raymond, Martina Navratilova and Cara Black respectively. Paes overall has six mixed doubles and seven doubles Grand Slam trophies to his name.
Vesnina is yet to win a major after finishing runners up six times in the two doubles events.
Whle Paes and Vesnina struggled with their serves in the first set, Mike and Raymond complimented each other in the game. Mike belted outfast first serves and Raymond was brilliant with the returns.
The Americans broke Paes in sixth game to make it 4-2 and closed out the set.
Mike and Huber looked set to wrap up the match after leading 5-3 in the second set. The equation however changed quickly as Paes and Vesnina raised their game to take the next fours games and level the match.
Going into the decider, the momentum was with the Indo-Russian pair but their serve started looking shaky once again. Paes was broken in the first game and they quickly found themselves 0-2 down.
They got their act together once again by wining the next three games.
The match tilted into the favour of Mike and Raymond after they broke Vesnina serve for a 5-3 lead. There was no further comeback from their opponents and Mike closed out the match with a perfect service game.
It was Mike’s maiden mixed doubles title here and fifth for Raymond.