Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza maintained their perfect record in Grand Slam doubles finals, beating the Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6, 6-3 at the Australian Open on Friday to extend their winning streak to 36 matches on the way to a third major title.
Mirza and Hingis beat Hlavackova and Hradecka in two tight, topsy-turvy sets 7-6 (1), 6-3 in a match that lasted one hour, 49 minutes.
The win marks the 12th title together, the third straight Slam and the 36th consecutive win for the Indo-Swiss duo, popularly dubbed SanTina on social media.
“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,” Mirza said at the presentation ceremony.
“We know how good you are (to the Czechs). We lost to you at Roland Garros. Hopefully we will have more finals to fight for,” added Mirza.
Hingis was equally effusive in her praise for the Czechs.
“They pushed us to the limit. It was a tough tournament. We will try to defend our title next year.”
After Mirza and Hingis won the first game of the first set, the pair exchanged eight breaks of serve, until Hingis finally held her serve for the top seeds to lead 6-5, but the Czechs managed to hold their serve to force a tiebreaker.
Mirza and Hingis dominated the tiebreak, taking it 7-1.
The Indo-Swiss duo began the second set on a much better note, breaking in the first game. Mirza then managed a hold of serve to consolidate the break for a 2-0 lead.
Two more service holds followed before the top seeds broke again for a 4-1 lead. Although they were broken right back, they broke again but failed to serve out the match at 5-2.
With the Czechs serving to stay in the match, Mirza-Hingis brought up three championship points but could not convert any. They finally converted on their fourth championship point to claim the title.
Mirza and Hingis teamed up in March last year and went on to win nine titles for the year. Besides the Wimbledon and US Open Grand Slams, they also won titles at Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the World Tour Finals.
The pair then picked up where they left things off last year. Coming into Melbourne, they won back-to-back titles at Brisbane and Sydney. Their last loss was to the Chan sisters at the Cincinnati Masters, before the start of the US Open.
(With PTI inputs)