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Tennis: Martina Hingis, Sania Mirza rise to No. 3 on Road to Singapore

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza won their second title in two tournaments together. Photo: AFP.

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza won their second title in two tournaments together. Photo: AFP.

April 6, 2015: Singapore tennis fans could have the opportunity to watch former World No. 1 Martina Hingis live later this year after the Swiss star and Sania Mirza battled back to win the Miami Open doubles title – and rise from No. 9 to No. 3 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.

 

Hingis, 34, and Flavia Pennetta came close to qualifying for last October’s inaugural BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore after a superb run of form last in the season and this year the Swiss star could secure a place with Mirza, after the new pair won their second title in two tournaments together, WTAtennis.com reported.

 

Mirza, meanwhile, is looking to return to Singapore after the Indian star and former partner Cara Black won the doubles title at the first WTA Finals in the Asia-Pacific.

 

In Miami, Hingis and Mirza faced Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final, two weeks after beating the same pair to win the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

 

The second-seeded Russians came out strong, storming out to a 5-2 lead, but the top seeds came alive from there, Hingis and Mirza reeling off eight games in a row and even staving off a set point to surge ahead, 7-5, 3-0, before winning the second set 6-1.

 

Hingis, 34, said her new partnership had to get used to being behind, having not lost more than four games in a single set in Indian Wells.

 

“The most important thing is that we never stopped believing we’re a great team,” said Hingis, who won five Grand Slam singles titles in the late 1990s.

 

“They played a great set to get us to that position, 5-2 down. Then we just tried to stay in there and get our chances. We just built on every point, which is what we did well last time, too.”

 

Hingis even talked about how an on-court coaching visit helped them turn it around, saying to Mirza: “Today the coaching really turned it around – your dad came on court.”

 

Mirza, 28, added: “We just tried to keep telling each other to enjoy the struggle. Last time everything came very, very easily to us. We didn’t lose more than four games in a set. Over here we were down and we were panicking. It was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re not playing well.’ We just weren’t used to that.

 

“But it’s good to fight through those matches and believe, and come out now and be like, ‘At 5-3 I was gutsy to hit a big serve,’ or she made a huge move at 5-4, so it’s good.”

 

It has been a dream start for Hingis and Mirza, racking up a 10-0 record to lift two Premier Mandatory trophies – and they still haven’t lost a single set along the way.

 

Hingis now has 43 WTA doubles titles to her name, matching her 43 singles titles, while Mirza took home the 25th doubles title of her career.

 

Makarova and Vesnina were second on the Road to Singapore heading into Miami and will now move to the top of the list ahead of Australian Open champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.

 

This year’s WTA Finals, featuring eight singles players and eight doubles teams, will be held at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 26-November 1.

 

Source: www.wtatennis.com/news/article/4617146/title/hingis-mirzas-perfect-start-continues; Editing by SportAsia

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