Ben Shelton and Emma Navarro win Eisenhower Cup mixed doubles exhibition at Indian Wells

The American collegiate pair defeated Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final

Julian Finney/GettyImages

One of the best tennis events of the year concluded after midnight Eastern time at Indian Wells on Tuesday night. It was the Eisenhower Cup mixed doubles exhibition. The format was single elimination Tiebreak Tens.

This year's Eisenhower Cup competing teams were as follows: (1) Aryna Sabalenka and Taylor Fritz, (2) Maria Sakkari and Andrey Rublev, (3) Sloane Stephens and Tommy Paul, (4) Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz, (5) Qinwen Zheng and Frances Tiafoe, (6) Caroline Wozniacki and Holger Rune, (7) Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas, and (8) Emma Navarro and Ben Shelton.

Ben Shelton's left handed power serve mixed with Emma Navarro's solid ground strokes made for a winning combination over real-life couple Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

What we learned from the Eisenhower Cup Tiebreak Tens event this year

With Jessica Pegula and Elena Rybakina withdrawing from the event earlier in the day, there were a lot of moving parts. Five new teams were in the mix. As usual serving was essential, and Iga Swiatek was one of several players suffering from serve issues. Swiatek changed her serve technique in the offseason, and it is yet to be determined if it is a successful change.

Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas played very well. Tsitsipas plays doubles with his brother, and he showed off his skills. Badosa moved well and looked healthy which is great to see. The Danish pair of Wozniacki and Rune also had great chemistry and could be a contender in the Paris Olympics mixed doubles.

Last year's champion and finalist teams crashed out early. Aryna Sabalenka and Taylor Fritz and Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz lost in their opening round matches. It was a night for American collegiate tennis. Navarro and Shelton showed their all-around skills learned as they advanced through the college ranks before turning professional. They complemented each other's style of play well and could be considered an Olympic mixed doubles pair for the United States.

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