Work in Sports
Veteran American duo claims Wimbledon title
WIMBLEDON, England (CNN/SI) -- Don Johnson and Kimberly Po of the United States defeated teenagers Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) on Sunday to win Wimbledon's mixed doubles title.
The American sisters will be gunning for their third Grand Slam doubles title together, with previous victories last year in the U.S. and French Opens.
Serena also won the 1998 Wimbledon and U.S. Open mixed doubles titles teaming with Max Mirnyi. Venus won the Australian and French Open in the same year playing with Justin Gimelstob.
In Sunday mixed doubles, the seasoned Americans were too solid for the rookie pair and recovered from a poor start to claim their first Grand Slam title. They had been runners-up at the 1999 U.S. Open on Johnson's 31st birthday, and also reached the quarterfinals of both the Australian and French Open this year.
"It's very exciting to finally win one," Po said. "The thing we like is that we played happy. We didn't do that at the U.S. Open and that was very disappointing to lose that final in front of our families."
"We were lucky to even get past the first round," Johnson said. "We eventually won that 9-7 in the third, and Kim lifted me up and kept me in that match. She's very good like that, a great partner."
The Australian Hewitt has been labeled a future star by Pete Sampras after the 19-year-old beat him in the Queen's grass-court tournament three weeks ago.
Clijsters, his 17-year-old girlfriend, proved her potential when she led eventual champion Serena Williams 5-3 in the final set at the 1999 U.S. Open.
Johnson dropped his serve in the second game but the Americans immediately fought back and broke Clijsters in the next. Both Johnson and Clijsters continued to struggle on their serve with Johnson saving two break points in the sixth game before Clijsters was broken in the seventh.
Po then found herself in trouble at 4-3 but saved a break point and Johnson eventually served out the set to love.
There was nothing to separate the two teams in the second set, with each player holding serve comfortably until Clijsters was broken in the 11th game.
Hewitt, who had taken a fall and scrapped his left knee during that game, then called for the trainer, and while he was treated the relaxed Americans joked and posed arm-in-arm for a spectator taking a photo.
The stoppage, though, broke Po's rhythm and she failed to serve out for the match. But in the tiebreak, it was she who hit a winner off a Clijsters' serve to gain a 3-1 lead, and a double-fault by Hewitt then gave the Americans a 6-3 lead.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.