Sania Mirza created history by becoming the first female tennis player from India to achieve the world number one rank in doubles, following her stupendous title win at the WTA Family Circle Cup with partner Martina Hingis, in Charleston, NC.
With this historic victory, Sania Mirza from India has become world No.1 in tennis doubles after winning the Family Circle Cup in Charleston with partner Martina Hingis. Sania is also first female player from the country to win Grand Slam tournaments. Before Sania, only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhuapthi had achieved the top rank when they dominated men’s doubles circuit in the last 90s.
No Indian woman had ever been No. 1 in singles or doubles until the 28-year-old Mirza. She says she’s proud of the achievement and thanks Hingis for helping her get there. The two have won their past three events, capturing titles at Indian Wells and Miami before the Family Circle. Mirza says this is an honor she’ll treasure for the rest of her life. She says she’ll always be able to say she held a No. 1 ranking, and that’s something “very special.”
“When you start off as a child playing tennis, you dream of being No. 1 in the world,” Mirza said in a statement released by the WTA. “It’s a dream for every person; very few get there. I feel extremely honored to be No. 1. It’s something that I’ve worked for all my life. I hope this makes girls in India believe that anything is possible; we can achieve anything we want if we put our mind and body to it.”
The top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair blew away the challenge of Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak 6-0 6-4 in just 57 minutes in the lop-sided final of the USD 731,000 clay court event. Sania took 470 points from the win to take her tally to 7965 as she jumped past Italy’s Sara Errani (7640) and Roberta Vinci (7640) to sit atop the ranking table. The official ranking chart will be issued on Monday.
It is Sania’s third successive title win with Hingis and they have not lost as a single match since joining forces in March. They won trophy in Indian Wells, which was their first tournament together and followed up that with win in Miami. Sania and Hingis have lost only three sets in 14 matches, spread over three tournaments.
They have already become the world number one team in the Race to Singapore, the season-finale, where top-8 team compete at the end of year. Sania and Hingis strolled past their rivals as they bageled them in just 22 minute to take the opening set. They lost serve in the first game of the second set but broke back immediately.
If the unseeded Australian-Croatian pair had any chance to make a comeback, it was by cashing in on chances and they did not help their cause by squandering two break opportunities in the fifth game of the second set as the winners opened up a huge 4-1 lead. Casey and Darija though kept fighting and gradually reduced the margin.
Serving for the match, Sania and Hingis were broken, perhaps the enormity of the achievement made the Indian nervous. They kept their nerves and broke their opponents for one final time in the 10th game to close the match in their favor.
In the past calendar year, Mirza has won seven doubles titles with three different partners, including three with Hingis. For her career, Mirza has 26 doubles titles and three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
While Mirza is the first woman from India to reach the top of the WTA doubles rankings, which were introduced in 1984, she is the fourth woman from Asia to complete the feat. “It’s a dream for every kid to be No1 one day,” said Mirza. “I can’t think of a better person to do it with. When we came here we had one thing in mind, to get No1, and she (Hingis) really helped me get there. She helped me through some tough moments this week. She’s just a great person and a great player. We also become the No1 team in the world today with this. I hope we have many, many more tournaments and end the year on a high as well.”