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Tennis: Sania Mirza becomes first Indian No. 1 in women’s doubles

Sania Mirza became the World No. 1 in doubles after winning a third straight title with Martina Hingis. Photo: Family Circle Cup.

Sania Mirza became the doubles No. 1 after a third straight title with Martina Hingis. Photos: Family Circle Cup.

April 13, 2015: Sania Mirza became the first Indian No. 1 in women’s doubles after winning the Family Circle Cup with Martina Hingis, the pair’s third straight title since teaming up. The Indian-Swiss duo also became the world’s top-ranked team with their victory in Charleston, South Carolina, WTAtennis.com reported.

 

Mirza, 28, and Hingis, 34, won their first tournament together at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, added the Miami Open soon after and continued their winning run at the Family Circle Cup by beating Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak 6-0, 6-4 in Sunday’s final.

 

However, after never losing more than four games in a set in their first tournament together and also never losing a set in Miami, their latest route to victory was their trickiest yet.

 

The top seeds lost sets in their quarter-final and semi-final matches, even facing match point against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova in the latter. But Mirza and Hingis rose to every challenge in Charleston and could even afford to miss two match points of their own at 5-3 in the second set of the final, before closing it out a game later and reaching their latest goal.

 

Indian fans cheered on Mirza as she made history in Charleston.

Indian fans cheered on Mirza as she made history in Charleston.

“It’s a dream for every kid to be No. 1 one day. I can’t think of a better person to do it with,” Mirza said to the crowd at the trophy ceremony while gesturing to the popular Hingis, whose career includes nine Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, five Grand Slam singles titles and two retirements.

 

“When we came here we had one thing in mind, to get No. 1, and she really helped me get there. She helped me through some tough moments this week. She’s just a great person and a great player.”

 

Mirza kept the smiles coming as she kept praising Hingis, a former No. 1 in both singles and doubles. “I don’t want to make you feel old, but I did watch you as a kid,” Mirza said, drawing laughter from Hingis and the crowd. “You were an idol to most young girls at the time. You made it when you were 15!”

 

Hingis and Mirza had already reached a milestone by making the semi-finals in Charleston, which secured a rise to No. 1 on the Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals.

 

Mirza paid tribute to Hingis, with the pair having won all three events they have competed in together.

Mirza paid tribute to Hingis, with the pair having won all three events they have competed in together.

“No tournament has been as special to me as the Family Circle Cup and no tournament will ever be as special to me, because I became No. 1 here,” Mirza said. “We also become the No. 1 team in the world today with this. I hope we have many, many more tournaments and end the year on a high as well.”

 

Mirza is the first Indian woman to reach No. 1 in either singles or doubles, and just the fourth Asian woman to do it, after Japan’s Ai Sugiyama, current China No. 1 Peng Shuai and current Taiwan No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei. Mirza started the year by playing doubles with Hsieh, who had previously won two Grand Slams with Peng.

 

Mirza has won seven WTA doubles titles over the last 12 months. Last year, she won Oeiras, Tokyo [Pan Pacific] and the WTA Finals in Singapore with Cara Black, earlier this year she won Sydney with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and she has now won three in a row with Hingis.

 

WTA Players To Hold No. 1 Doubles Ranking:

Player                                      Wks     First Date at No. 1

Martina Navratilova                 237      September 10, 1984

Liezel Huber                            199      November 12, 2007

Cara Black                              163      October 17, 2005

Lisa Raymond                         137      June 12, 2000

Natasha Zvereva                     124      October 7, 1991

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario         111      October 19, 1992

Roberta Vinci                           110      October 15, 2012

Sara Errani                               87        September 10, 2012

Paola Suarez                           87        September 9, 2002

Gigi Fernandez                        80        March 4, 1991

Helena Sukova                        68        February 5, 1990

Jana Novotna                          67        August 27, 1990

Virginia Ruano Pascual           65        September 8, 2003

Samantha Stosur                     61        February 6, 2006

Pam Shriver                            48        March 18, 1985

Ai Sugiyama                            45        October 23, 2000

Martina Hingis                         35        June 8, 1998

Lindsay Davenport                  32        October 20, 1997

Gisela Dulko                            24        November 1, 2010

Peng Shuai                              20        February 17, 2014

Flavia Pennetta                       18        February 28, 2011

Julie Halard-Decugis               14        September 11, 2000

Anna Kournikova                     10        November 22, 1999

Kveta Peschke                        10        July 4, 2011

Katarina Srebotnik                   10        July 4, 2011

Serena Williams                       8          June 7, 2010

Venus Williams                         8          June 7, 2010

Corina Morariu                         7          April 3, 2000

Hsieh Su-Wei                           5          May 12, 2014

Kim Clijsters                             4          August 4, 2003

Larisa Neiland                          4          January 27, 1992

Rennae Stubbs                        3          August 21, 2000

Sania Mirza                             1          April 13, 2015

 

Source: http://www.wtatennis.com/news/article/4634188/title/hingis-mirza-win-mirza-becomes-no1; Editing by SportAsia

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