Huber, Bryan Win Mixed
Published June 04, 2009 12:00
PARIS, France - Two of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and ATP World Tour's best doubles players joined together and captured Grand Slam glory in Paris this week, as Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan won the French Open mixed.
Huber, co-ranked No.1 in the world in women's doubles with Cara Black, and Bryan, co-ranked No.3 in the world in men's doubles with twin brother Mike, were the top seeds at the clay court major and certainly upheld it, although they very nearly lost twice before the final, saving one match point against Flavia Pennetta and Dusan Vemic in the second round and three more against Ai Sugiyama and Andre Sa, who were the No.5 seeds, in the quarterfinals.
In their third match tie-break victory of the tournament, Huber and Bryan beat Vania King and Marcelo Melo in the final, 57 76(5) 107, never facing a match point but being two points from losing in the second set tie-break.
"I knew in the beginning of the week we could win. We were almost out of it in two of our matches, but it's not how you start out, it's how you finish," Huber said. "I also don't normally play the backhand side, so this was a completely new experience. I was only told five minutes before we went on the court the only way I could play with Bob was because my husband agreed I would."
"I'm stubborn!" Bryan responded. "Playing with Liezel was a lot of fun. She's No.1 in the world and plays really smart tennis. I learned a lot from her. We were down match point in the second round and three match points in the quarterfinals, so we were definitely playing with the house chips. When you're playing with those, good things happen. That's the moral of this story."
The victory marks Huber's first Grand Slam mixed doubles title, having won four Grand Slam women's doubles titles in her career, all with current partner Black (2005 Wimbledon, 2007 Australian Open, 2007 Wimbledon, 2008 US Open).