French youngster Kristina Mladenovic and Canadian veteran Daniel Nestor have captured their second mixed doubles Grand Slam title together after a convincing 6-3 6-2 victory over India’s Sania Mirza and Romanian Horia Tecau at Melbourne Park on Sunday.
The unseeded pair won last year’s Wimbledon mixed doubles crown with a come-from-behind 5-7 6-2 8-6 upset of top seeds Bruno Soares and Lisa Raymond, but there would be no such struggle at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
The pair broke the sixth seeds four times in the 58-minute decider, and with their second major in three slams, Nestor now has a task on his hands to fend off poachers.
“Now that we are starting to get good results, there are a few asking me when Danny is going to retire from tennis so I can have another partner,” Mladenovic said.
“Who are they, he wants to know,” Nestor joked.
“Well, all the men's doubles specialists. Was Robert (Lindstedt), (Lukasz) Kubot asked me, (Aisam-ul-Haq) Qureshi,” Mladenovic said.
The French 20-year-old sealed the result on the pair’s third match point, ripping a passing shot past Tecau.
It marks 41-year-old Nestor’s fourth mixed doubles crown and his third in Melbourne, having also triumphed in 2007 and 2011.
“We've been playing our best tennis here," Nestor said. "It's great to win this title. I have what I believe is the best partner in mixed. Kristina helps me out and I have to cover less of the court. That's good at my age."
Scheduled to lead Canada’s doubles charge at next week’s Davis Cup tie against Japan in Tokyo, Nestor has no plans to step away from the game just yet.
He even mentioned attempting to win a calendar Grand Slam in mixed doubles given the pairing’s success rate.
“(I was) half-joking. I always tell my friends my best chance of winning Grand Slams nowadays are in mixed … But obviously I'd still like to win men's doubles titles, too,” he said.
“You know, I think I have a good partner in that, too. I just think this is the best chance, but I'll keep playing both and hopefully good will come out of it.”