MELBOURNE, Australia – Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Canada's Daniel Nestor won the Australian Open mixed doubles title Sunday in their first — and potentially last — time playing together.
The second-seeded pair beat Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan and Australia's Paul Hanley 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.
"There were a lot of tight points there at the end, we were fortunate to win," Nestor said during the trophy ceremony, making public his regret that Srebotnik plans to return to her regular partner, Nenad Zimonjic, for upcoming Grand Slams. "This was my one shot. I'm glad I took advantage of it."
Both players have won several doubles titles with other partners.
This was Nestor's second mixed doubles title in Melbourne, after 2007 when he paired with Elena Likhovtseva. He also has won six Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
Srebotnik has won four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, including the 2010 and 2006 Roland Garros with Zimonjic.
The 29-year-old Slovenian said in their post-match news conference she enjoyed playing with Nestor, whom she described as "really calm, a little bit different than Nenad."
But she said she was already committed to resuming her partnership with Zimonjic, whom she called "more fiery," adding that "we already made an agreement, I like to keep my word."
Nestor added, half jokingly, "I have no problems with her stabbing Nenad in the back, at all."
Zimonjic was supposed to play the mixed doubles tournament with fellow Serbian Ana Ivanovic in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, Srebotnik said. But Ivanovic lost her singles match in the first-round and opted out of mixed doubles due to a minor injury.
Zimonjic paired with Russia's Maria Kirilenko for the third-seeded team and made it to the semifinals where they were beaten by Nestor and Srebotnik.
In the final, Srebotnik and Nestor had nine break points against and managed to save six of them, while Hanley and Chan were broken three times in five attempts. Hanley and Chan started strong and got an early break, but Hanley was rattled after getting hit in the face by a ball.
"We were up a break, then you get hit in the face on break point. It's not a nice feeling," Hanley said. "The whole match we were sort of fighting within ourselves a little bit. We couldn't really settle."