Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis came up with another stupendous performance on Friday to win the Australian Open women’s doubles title at the Rod Laver Arena. The World No.1 pair defeated World No. 7 team of Andrea Hlavackova-Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.
The formidable pairing of Sania and Hingis has now won three Grand Slams in a row. Mirza and Hingis captured the Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2015, before winning the season-ending WTA Finals to dominate the circuit last year.
Sania and Hingis are at the peak of their career as they have extended their unbeaten run to 36 games after winning the final on Friday.
Popularly christened as ‘SanTina’, the juggernaut that began in August last year, showed no signs of abetting at the Melbourne Park. They continued their supreme form and grabbed their eighth successive title, and 12th overall, in 109 minutes.
They began 2016 by winning in Brisbane and Sydney. Their last defeat came against the Chan sisters in the Cincinnati Masters, before the start of the US Open last year.
The first set was evenly contested on Friday as both teams tried to seize the initiative. It took Sania and Martina 62 minutes to determine its fate, an indicator of severe nature of the battle.
Both teams won four break points in the first set and were even in almost every aspect.
The Indo-Swiss pair hit 17 winners, one less than their opponents, and committed 17 unforced errors, one more than them. But won 50 of the total 96 points played in the first set.
Each point was fiercely fought as several long rallies were played with the action unfolding at a swift pace. The set went its full distance and Sania-Hingis were at their dominant best in the tie-break, clinching it 7-1.
They carried forward the momentum in the second set and broke immediately to jump to a 2-0 lead, converting their second break point.
‘SanTina’ intensified their pressure and broke again, in the fifth game, to jump to a commanding 4-1 scoreline.
But the Czech pair refused to bow without a fight and promptly broke back twice to make it 5-3. But it only spurred Sania-Martina as they closed out the contest in the next service game.
The top seed earlier beat German-Czech 13th seeds Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 6-0 in the semi-finals.
“It was a great atmosphere to play… we had a lot of fun. For me, Austrlian Open is very special. It’s as close as home to me. So thanks, everyone. Thanks for making it one of the best slams of the year,” Sania said after the match.
Praising her partner, Sania said the Swiss veteran is an amazing person to play with.
“Thank you to my partner. We have had a great last year. We just keep going on and on. She is an amazing person and it’s amazing to play with her,” she said.