Sania-Bethanie off to a flier

Indo-American pair clinches season-opening Brisbane International

Sania-Bethanie off to a flier

Sania Mirza and her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands had a superb start to the season as they lifted the WTA Brisbane International trophy with a come-from-behind win against Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld here on Saturday.

The second-seeded Indo-American pair erased the first set deficit to down the fourth-seeded rivals 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 in the summit showdown of the $1,000,000 event.
It was Sania’s first doubles title of the season and 15th of her career.
Sania and Mattek earned 470 ranking points each and shared $51,022 as prize money.

An excited Sania said that Saturday’s win would be a morale booster for the Australian Open starting later this month.

“It’s a great start to the year and really exciting to beat some of the world’s best doubles teams. I’m looking forward to playing the Australian Open and the rest of the year with Bethanie,” she told.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams proved the break between seasons hasn't hurt her momentum, capturing her 47th career title with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to capture the women’s singles final.

Defending men's champion Andy Murray advanced to the men’s singles final when fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori retired with an injured left knee while trailing 6-4, 2-0 in their semifinal.

The Olympic and US Open champion will next meet 21-year-old Grigor Dimitrov, who is starting to live up to his billing as a star-in-the-making by reaching his first ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Marcos Baghdatis.

Radwanska triumphs

Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska began her Australian Open preparations in winning style, accounting for 2010 champion Yanina Wickmayer to claim the Auckland Classic title on Saturday.

The world number four, who had not dropped a set throughout the tournament on the central Auckland courts, beat the 23-year-old Belgian 6-4, 6-4 to claim her 11th WTA tour title.

Wickmayer, whose emotions bubbled over as she became increasingly frustrated at the numerous errors she was committing, managed to delay the inevitable when she saved four match points on her own serve in the ninth game of the set, but was unable to stop Radwanska from sealing the title in the next game in 95 minutes.


Li wins

Top seed Li Na survived a mid-match meltdown to overcome Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 in the final of the inaugural Shenzhen Open on Saturday, earning the Chinese a seventh career title.

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