Mirnyi and Azarenka capture US Open mixed doubles title

NEW YORK (AFP) — The Belarus duo of Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka won the US Open mixed doubles final Thursday, beating India's Leander Paes and US veteran Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4, 7-6 (8/6).

It was the seventh career Grand Slam doubles title for Mirnyi, who shared 1998 US Open and Wimbledon mixed doubles titles with Serena Williams and men's doubles titles at the 2005 and 2006 French Open and 2000 and 2002 US Opens.

"It was great to have won," Mirnyi said. "Hopefully Victoria can learn from this and be a great champion."

Paes and Shaughnessy seized a 5-1 lead in the tie-breaker but surrendered the last five points to lose, squandering four set points to hand the Belarus pair the crown when Mirnyi, 30, hit a forehand volley winner.

"We just about thought we had done enough to win the second set but these two came up with the goods when it really mattered," Paes said. "Well done."

Azarenka, 18, won her first Slam title after a run to the fourth round in singles, where she is ranked 41st.

"It has been a most amazing two weeks," she said. "It's just so amazing for me to win the mixed."

Paes, 34, was foiled in a bid for an eighth Slam doubles title, winning 1999 and 2001 French Open and 1999 Wimbledon titles with Mahesh Bhupathi, a 2006 US Open title with Czech Martin Damm, a 1999 Wimbledon mixed crown with Lisa Raymond and 2003 Wimbledon and Australian Open titles with Martina Navratilova.

The winners split 150,000 dollars while the runner-ups divided 70,000 dollars.