It was a match very much deserving of a final, and as the curtain fell on the 2012 edition of the Championships, Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan had done just enough to deny the battling pair of Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina in the Final of the Mixed Doubles in three entertaining sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
The contest had been a bit of a mismatch right from the start, with veteran Indian superstar Leander Paes' serve under threat right through the contest, while his male counterpart on the other side of the net, the imposing Mike Bryan sent down bullets at will. What Paes lacks in serving pace, he more than makes up with a keen tennis brain, and lightning quick reflexes, which means that unlike most mixed doubles matches, his female partner - Elena Vesnina's serve - was not quite as much under threat with him all over the net.
The first set went rather comfortably the Americans' way - Paes was broken in the fifth after Vesnina's ability at the net was put under question. The Russian was amazing under pressure, in sharp volley exchanges, but float a ball in her direction with time to choose what to do, and chances are she'd make an error. Bryan had no difficulty in serving out the opening set as the Americans appeared to be in cruise control.
The second set seemed to be going in a similar direction with Vesnina this time dropping serve and the rest of the set progressing as planned for the Americans. At 3-5, Paes and Vesnina hung on to force Bryan to serve out the match, and the Americans tightened at the net, making careless errors that saw them even waste a Championship point as Paes and Vesnina roared back to break serve. The momentum continued in favour of the Indo-Russian pair, and they promptly wrapped up the set by winning their fourth game on the trot to level the match at a set apiece.
Had this match been decided by a match tiebreak, one would have faired the underdogs, but Wimbledon plays a deciding set, and it was Paes who faltered by dropping serve in the opening game of the final set to end the momentum switch. A break back of the Raymond serve to level the set at 2-2, ignited hopes of a comeback, but it wasn't to be as Vesnina was broken in the 7th game, and this time Mike Bryan landed some huge unreturnables to ensure that there was only going to be one winner in this contest.
All four players will now switch their attention to the Olympics, which commence later this month right here at Wimbledon.