The Indian tennis players might have failed to shine in the French Open men's and women's doubles competitions, but Leander Paes and Sania Mirza have been great in the mixed doubles, with their respective partners. Paes, who pairs alongside Martina Hingis, set up a mixed doubles final date with Sania and Ivan Dodig, which will be played at Philippe Chatrier Court on Friday.
Paes is one of the most successful mixed doubles players, winning nine Grand Slam titles, three of them coming with with Hingis. However, Paes is yet to win the French Open mixed doubles crown.
There is a deep chemistry between Paes and Hingis, with both players enjoying their game on the court, which is evident from their everpresent smiles. They also entertain the crowd gathered, like no other, with their skills.
It makes for spectacular viewing, with Paes and Hingis involved in some amazing tennis, and their reflexes at the net just makes us marvel at their quality. It is such excellence that has helped them reach the final of the French Open, defeating fifth seeded Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares in the quarterfinal and Andrea Hlavackova and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the semifinals, both on Thursday.
They have defeated seeded pairs en route to their final, but the second seed, Sania and Dodig, will be keen to win their first Grand Slam together. Sania won the French Open mixed doubles competition with Mahesh Bhupati in 2012.
If the pair are to win the French Open, Dodig and his big serves need to click from the start. Dodig is a powerful server, but needs to be clever, as Paes is a crafty returner of the ball, using his opponent's pace against them to earn points when needed. Sania, who has improved her serve, will be a constant threat from the baseline as she possesses an incredible forehand.
An interesting final is on the cards with Sania and Hingis being a wonderful women's doubles pair, and also knowing each other's strength and weakness, which could be exploited on Friday.
Irrespective of which pair wins the French Open final, India will have a 2016 French Open champion on Friday.
Where to watch live
The French Open mixed doubles final – Leander Paes/Martina Hingis vs Ivan Dodig/Sania Mirza – will be played at Phillipe-Chartier Court after Andy Murray vs Stan Wawrinka French Open semifinal, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. local time (6.30 p.m. IST, 2 p.m. BST, 9 a.m. ET) start.
India viewers can watch the French Open 2016 mixed doubles final on Neo Sports and Neo Prime. Audience in the UK can watch 2016 French Open live on ITV or ITV Player, while viewers in rest of Europe can do the same on Eurosport and Eurosport Player.
Fox Sportsand Foxtel Play is the place to be to watch the French Open 2016 live in Australia.
Middle Eastern countries can watch French Open 2016 mixed doubles final in BeIN Sports and online on BeIN Sports Connect.
Fox Sportswill broadcast French Open 2016 live in Asian countries.
Listeners across the world can also catch French Open 2016 matches live on Roland Garros Radio.