India's Sania Mirza and Swiss legend Martina Hingis began their partnership with a title win as they overcame Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-4 in the summit clash of the BNP Paribas Open.
Top seeds Sania and Hingis didn't drop a set en route to the title. The Indo-Swiss pair, who joined forces recently, was trailing 2-4 in the second set but went on to win four games in a row to clinch the issue.
With this win, Sania achieved her career-best doubles rank of No. 3 when the new WTA rankings were announced. “On paper, obviously we are supposed to be a good team, but it doesn't always turn out that way when you step on the court,” Sania said after the win.
“We're really happy we weren't just able to win, but win in such a dominating fashion, not losing a set and being down just two times in the whole two weeks,” the Indian added.
“This is something we were hoping for. She hits a big forehand, especially on the right side, and I can move and finish off the point. She prepares, I finish. That's pretty cool to me,” said Hingis, winner of 16 Grand Slam titles including five singles. “I'm very happy we made this move. Obviously, we had partners we played well with, like me last year with Flavia, and changing was a big move. I'm very happy it worked out, because you never know what to expect. Winning the tournament in our premier is new energy, and hopefully we can keep it up,” she added.
Sania was asked what makes them such a good team in terms of strategy. “She's one of the best people who can complement the way I play. She's got probably some of the best hands in the world at the net. I need that. I need someone who can finish the balls off where I set them up. And that's really it. Like I said, on paper everything looks great, but you still have to go out there. Names don't do anything. You have to go out and win,” she said.