The Indo-Swiss combination of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis expectedly lifted the women’s doubles crown at the 2016 Australian Open on Friday. The world’s top-ranked tennis duo defeated Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the summit clash and stretched their consecutive match-win figure to 36. Their recent stupendous run couldn’t’ have been climaxed better than the title win at Melbourne Park. After playing a humdinger of a first set against the two highly competent Czech women, Sania/Hingis played with superior confidence in the second and added another Grand Slam title against their name after Wimbledon and the US Open.
Playing incredible tennis in tandem with one another, India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis justified their world no.1 ranking in women’s doubles by winning the final against the Czech seventh seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka. In a match lasting an hour 45 minutes, Sania/Hingis were fully tested by the spirited Czech pair. The first set was very closely fought and it could easily have gone either way. Hlavackova/Hradecka were the first to pounce on a break opportunity in the third game as they took a 2-1 lead. But Sania/Hingis broke right back to level the scores 2-2. The Czechs wouldn’t give in so easily, as they broke Sania/Hingis once again in the fifth game to take a 3-2 ahead. Yet again, the Indo-Swiss pair leveled the scores to 3-3 by breaking back in the sixth game. None of the pairs was able to hold serve as Sania/Hingis were broken for the third consecutive game as the Czechs went up at 4-3 before losing their own serve. After eight consecutive service breaks, the scores reached 5-5. In the 11th game however, Martina held her serve and the Indo-Swiss team led 6-5. When Hlavackova/Hradecka also held their serve, the first set slipped to the tiebreak. It was now that Sania/Hingis came on top as they allowed the Czechs a solitary point in the tiebreak and wrapped up the first set at 7-6.
It became much smoother for Sania/Hingis in the second set as they broke Hlavackova/Hradecka in the very first game and played much better to open a 5-2 lead. More drama was in store as Martina prepared to serve out for the title. The Czechs broke her service and reduced the deficit to 5-3. When, Hradecka served in the ninth game, Sania/Hingis won the next three points and held that many championship points. However, the weight of the moment probably made them nervous as they threw away all those as the game went to deuce. On the fourth break opportunity, however, Sania/Hingis didn’t falter and closed the match at 7-6, 6-3 before running into each other’s arms.
Hlavackova and Hradecka played their best tennis against Sania and Martina but couldn’t avert defeat because, 10 months of playing side by side and winning several tournaments has armed the Indo-Swiss combo to find ways and means to wriggle out of difficult situations. The year 2016 has begun pretty well for the top seeded women’s pair. They won at Brisbane and Sydney international events before coming to Melbourne. The Australian Open is their third Grand Slam in a row after Wimbledon and the US Open and they haven’t completed even one year of their association.
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