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Nestor and Mladenovic clinch thrilling victory

Action on Centre Court from the Mixed doubles final.
by Darren Saligari
Sunday 7 July 2013

The Wimbledon 2013 mixed doubles championship has been won by Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic.

The No.8 seeds in the mixed event, Nestor and Mladenovic overcame the top seeds Lisa Raymond and Bruno Soares 5-7, 6-2, 8-6.

"It's an amazing result," said Mladenovic.  "We just played twice and made both final and winning today.  Daniel is such a good player.  He has lot of experience.

"I try to do my job, and he's helping me a lot at the net.  I think we play good at important moment.  Many matches we manage to get through tough ones.  You know, it's just great.  It's going really well."

Raymond and Nestor could have just as easily been champions themselves, having two match points of their own when leading 6-5 in the third set.

But 20-year old Mladenovic, the youngest player on court, showed composure beyond her years to hold her nerve and eventually her serve and tie the deciding set at six games apiece.

"First was a good first serve, and then … he had the right decision going down the line but just didn't make it, so we were happy for that," explained Mladenovic.

Two crucial errors in the next game cost Raymond and Soares as first Raymond missed a volley then Soares sent a backhand careering into the net.

With the vital final set break in hand, Nestor, who has 80 career doubles titles in his keeping, coolly served the match out.

It was an especially difficult loss for Raymond who was hoping to defend the title she won with Mike Bryan last year.

In the first set it was the top seeds who broke in the 12th game, off the back of a brilliant Soares backhand volley down the line, to take the set 7-5.

Nestor and Mladenovic fought back in the second set as they brushed off the cobwebs to take control.

Clean hitting and some sharp volleying from the Canadian-French duo saw them take the second set 6-2, sending the match to a deciding third set.

The final set was a much tighter affair as Raymond and Soares raised their game. Both teams had their chances to break, first the top seeds in the fourth game, then Nestor and Mladenovic in the seventh game before the top seeds had two match points that they were unable to convert late in the match.

After the match, Nestor was full of praise for rising star Mladenovic.

"She's going to be one of the top singles players eventually.  Right now I'm catching her while she's maybe not winning four or five matches in singles.  She's winning two or three, so hopefully that will change for her.

"Right now, you know, she's focusing on doubles and mixed.  I think that will change one day.  I caught her at the right time."

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  • A forehand volley by Bruno Soares.
  • The Mixed doubles final.
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