2017 started on a mixed note for Sania Mirza. The tennis ace partnered with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and clinched her first title of the season — the Brisbane International women’s doubles trophy but couldn’t keep her grip on the World No.1 crown. Mirza lost the no. 1 ranking on the ATP charts to her partner.
In 2016, Mirza reigned as World No.1 doubles player for the second straight year. But she had a close gap of 330 points with Mattek-Sands and after this victory the American easily filled that up.
Also read: Ace Against Odds: The Sania Mirza Story
“I feel like I’m handing over the Miss World No.1 crown,” Sania said in her post-match speech, as reported by NDTV. “We go a long way back, the last time we played together, we won Sydney and this year we have won Brisbane, so may be we should play more often,” the champion added.
Sania is clearly taking this loss in a light way but it is evident from her speech that she would be working hard to conquer again what she has lost.
Way to go #Sania@MirzaSania wins #Brisbane women's doubles title. pic.twitter.com/DpK5tQFckX
— Doordarshan National (@DDNational) January 7, 2017
The top-seeded Indo-American duo won the tournament with 6-2, 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final on Saturday.
READ: Sania Mirza’s Career’s Greatest Achievements
However, it was an end of Sania’s 91-week hold on the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings.
The Indian had entered into the tournament as a defending champion. She won it last year partnering with former singles World No.1 Swiss ace Martina Hingis.
Also Read: Did not achieve the “desired results”, says Martina Hingis about ending partnership with Sania Mirza
The pair had slayed back-to-back majors like Grand Slam titles but announced a surprise split-up in August 2016. Sania then paired up with Czech Barbora Strycova and had another successful year in 2016.
“We always have good matches (against Vesnina/Makarova). It’s great to come back as defending champion. Thank you to my partner and best friend. We go a long way, we play once a year, the last time we played, we won in Sydney,” Sania said.
Also read: I don’t feel extra pressure, just feel responsible, says Sania Mirza about the quest for an Olympic medal
She further added, “I think we should play a lot more. Thanks for playing with me. I was No.1 in the world but congratulations to her for becoming No.1 now. If not me, than her, she has had an amazing year.”
Sania’s next target would be the Australian Open in Sydney where she’ll be seen pairing with Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova. The tournament starts on January 16.
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Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times
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