Brisbane, January 8: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza with her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Saturday won the Brisbane International women's doubles title. They defeated the Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-3 in a match that lasted one hour and 15 minutes.
The Indo-American pair started off the game very smoothly but soon after started playing aggressively to which the Russian pairs did not have any answer, therefore, they lost the game very easily. Top-seeded at the event, Mirza and Mattek-Sands beat the second seeded Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who have won two Grand Slam titles together.
The trophy, however, ended Sania's 91-week reign as the world No 1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. That position was taken over by Bethanie. "I feel like I'm handing over Miss World No 1 crown," Sania said in her post-match speech. The Indian had come into the tournament as a defending champion, having won it with Swiss ace Martina Hingis last year.
Notably, this is Mirza's third title win at the tournament. She had won with Mattek-Sands in 2013 and Martina Hingis last year. Mirza and Hingis then went on to win the Australian Open in 2016. The Mirza-Mattek Sands pairing has now won six titles on the WTA tour.
Mirza, who partners Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova, is playing with Mattek-Sands on a temporary basis and will return to playing with Strycova in Sydney next week and the Australian Open, which starts on January 16. Strycova teamed up with Mattek-Sands' regular partner, Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova, for this week.