TENNIS

Sania-Martina juggernaut continues to roll, wins Sydney International title

TENNIS-ATP-WTA-AUS Martina Hingis (L) and Sania Mirza (R) hold the winners trophies after beating Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic of France in the women's doubles final match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney | AFP
  • Sania and Martina have 11 WTA doubles titles together: Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Wimbledon, US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the WTA Finals last year, and now Brisbane and Sydney this year.

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis' awe-inspiring run continued unabated as they lifted their second trophy of the season with the WTA Apia International title after clinching their 30th win a row, here on Friday.

The triumph over Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic though was not without initial hiccups as the top seeds lost the first set meekly before eking out a 1-6 7-5 10-5 win in one hour and 13 minutes.

The world number one team trailed 1-6 2-5 at one stage but they yet again came out unscathed, levelling the second set 5-5 and then sealed it to stretch it to a Super tie- breaker.

The US open and Wimbledon champions raced to a 8-3 lead in the decider and clinched the issue comfortably to stretch their unbeaten run to an incredible 30 matches.

"At 6-1, 5-2 the only thing we could say to each other was that it was only one break," Mirza added. "That's the only positive you can find from a situation like that. We tried to hold our serve for 5-3 to give ourselves another chance, then we had a huge game at 5-3 and the momentum went in our favor," Sania said after the win. "We're really happy to win another tournament. We're really happy with the way we fought," she added.

It was the 11th title together for the Indo-Swiss pair as continuing the good show from 2015 when they won 9 titles including the year-end WTA finale. Martina said it was a test of nerves for them.

"It was definitely a great test, and against a great new team. They were playing together for the first time this week, and I think we're going to see a lot more of them. We had to take our chances. You don't see much light in a dark tunnel, but then we had one or two opportunities here and there, and with one little chance we were able to turn the match around," the Swiss said.

They now have 11 WTA doubles titles together: Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Wimbledon, US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the WTA Finals last year, and now Brisbane and Sydney this year.

The Swiss-Indian partnership is also an impeccable 11-1 together in WTA doubles finals.

Adding to that, when new rankings will be issued on Monday, Martina will join Sania as joint World No.1 on the WTA doubles rankings.

It will be Hingis' first time at No.1 since the Indian Wells fortnight in 2000.

"I think it's another chapter in my career, definitely. When Sania became No.1 in Charleston that was a huge stepping stone for her, and now for me, 16 years later, who would have thought I would have another opportunity to become No.1 again? It was a dream and now it's reality," Martina said.

"But I've felt we're the No.1 team for a while now. It was just a question of time," she added.

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