No stopping Sania-Hingis

Tennis Australian Open : Indo-Swiss pair win third consecutive major after triumphing Down Under

No stopping Sania-Hingis

 In a perfect climax to their stupendous run, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were crowned the Australian Open women’s doubles champions after taming the spirited Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets, here on Friday.

The top seeds fought past seventh seeds Hlavackova and Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 in the women’s doubles final that lasted one hour and 45 minutes.

It was their third consecutive Grand Slam title for Sania and Hingis, having won the Wimbledon and US Open in the 2015 season.

In an incredible feat, Sania and Hingis have now extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches, winning eight titles in a row. They won five straight titles in 2015, starting from the US Open and before the Australian Open title on Friday they had won Brisbane and Sydney events. It was Sania’s second title at the Australian Open, having won the mixed doubles in 2009 with Mahesh Bhupathi.

However, later in the day, Sania fell in the mixed doubles semifinals with Croatian partner Ivan Dodig. The top seeds lost 5-7, 6-7(4) to fifth seeds Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares.
The women’s doubles final though was not a stroll in the park for the world number one team with the Czechs putting up a great fight in the opening set. The match was littered with breaks with the two teams struggling to hold serve throughout.

Hlavackova was excellent from the baseline and Hradecka was terrific at the net, playing some breathtaking shots and winners. The top seeds though had enough resources in their kitty to blunt the challenge of the Czech girls.

"I would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us. For me Australian Open is special, it's like home. I have special memories here. We had an incredible one year. Martina is an amazing champion and an amazing person, so it is a privilege for me to play with her," Sania said.

"We know how good you are (Czech team). We lost to you at Roland Garros (2011). Hopefully we will have more finals to fight for," she added..

In the opening set, the two pairs could manage to hold serve only twice each as it was full of breaks. Hradecka ran frantically to her left from the net and smashed one volley past Sania off Hingis’s return and then the Swiss served two consecutive double faults to hand the Czechs an early break.

Hingis, however, held her serve in the 11th game and the top seeds led 6-5, this time not allowing the Czechs to convert break opportunities.

Eventually the Czecks too held and it boiled down to a tiebreak in which the top seeds trampled their opponents, losing just one point, to pocket the opening set.

In the second, the top seeds broke Hradecka in the very first game and never looked back after that.

Though Hingis was broken in the sixth game but the favourites broke back for a 5-2 lead. There was more drama as Hingis was broken in the eight while serving for the match and they squandered three match points in the ninth game on Hradecka’s serve. Sania and Martina finally closed the championship in their favour on the fourth chance.

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