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Tennis: ‘Dream team’ Mirza, Hingis win on debut at Indian Wells

Sania Mirza and Martin Hingis won the BNP Paribas Open doubles title in their first event together. Photo: AFP.

Sania Mirza and Martin Hingis won the BNP Paribas Open doubles title in their first event together. Photos: AFP.

March 22, 2015: Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza completed a dream first tournament together, beating Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open doubles title at Indian Wells, www.wtatennis.com reported.

 

Hingis, 34, brought to her new partnership an impressive record of 11 Grand Slams doubles title, nine in women’s and two in mixed, having won the Australian Open with Mirza’s Indian compatriot Leander Paes at the beginning of February.

 

With Mirza a winner of three Grand Slam mixed titles, the Swiss-Indian pair were ranked as top seeds for their first event and lived up their ‘dream team’ billing, not losing more than four games in any set all fortnight.

 

After cruising through the first set of the final, that statistic looked under threat when they fell behind 4-2 in the second set to the second seeds, but they flipped the script from there with four straight games to end it.

 

Hingis, the former No. 1 in singles and doubles, underlined that she’s still a world beater in doubles, after coming out of her second retirement in 2013.

 

Mirza and Hingis won the last four games to complete a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Mirza and Hingis won the last four games to complete a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Having previously won four WTA doubles titles in the past year – two each with Sabine Lisicki and Flavia Pennetta – the Swiss was happy that her partnership with Mirza sped off to a fast start.

 

“This is something we were hoping for. She hits a big forehand, especially on the right side, and I can move and finish off the point. She prepares; I finish. That’s pretty cool to me,” Hingis said.

 

“I’m very happy we made this move. Obviously we had partners we played well with, like me last year with Flavia, and changing was a big move. I’m very happy it worked out, because you never know what to expect. Winning the tournament in our premiere, it’s new energy, and hopefully we can keep it up.”

 

Mirza, 28, agreed that the two gelled quickly because of their playing styles. “She’s one of the best people who can complement the way I play,” Mirza said. “She’s got probably some of the best hands in the world at the net. For me, I need that. I need someone who can finish the balls off where I set them up.”

 

Hingis is Mirza’s latest high-profile partner. The Indian and Zimbabwe’s Cara Black – a former doubles No. 1 – won last October’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore to crown a successful 14-month partnership.

 

Earlier this year Mirza had a brief spell with Taiwan No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei and also teamed up again with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, but seemed delighted with Hingis.

 

“On paper, obviously we are supposed to be a good team, but it doesn’t always turn out that way when you step on the court, so we’re really happy we weren’t just able to win but win in such dominating fashion – not losing a set and being down just two times in the whole two weeks,” Mirza said.

 

“Like I said, on paper everything looks great, but you still have to go out there. Names don’t do anything. You have to go out and win.”

 

Makarova and Vesnina missed out on the victory, but vaulted from No. 9 to No. 2 on the Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard, the year-long journey to the doubles event at the WTA Finals Singapore.

 

Source: www.wtatennis.com/news/article/4581338/title/hingis-mirza-complete-dream-debut; Editing by SportAsia

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