Sania-Martina claim 29th straight win, in Sydney final

Sydney, Jan 14 (IANS) Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis survived a scare to win their 29th consecutive match as a pair to set a record for most consecutive wins in women’s doubles here on Thursday.

The Indo-Swiss pair won a rain-interrupted semi-final 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 against Romanian Raluca Olaru and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan on Court 1 to enter the final of the Sydney International.

They eclipsed the record set by Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, who won 28 consecutive matches in 1994.

Equalling the record for the most wins on Wednesday, the Indo-Swiss combination had overcome the Chinese pair of Chen Liang and Shuai Peng 6-2, 6-3 to enter the semi-finals.

They are eyeing their second win of the year together after winning in the Brisbane International last week.

They claimed nine titles last year en route to being the top ranked women’s doubles team, the highlight being wins at Wimbledon and US Open.

On Thursday, the top pair, dubbed “SanTina” by their fans, were trailing by a set, lost 4-6, and were down 1-2 in the second set when rain intervened.

That helped them turn the tables upon resumption as they fought back to overturn the deficit and claim the second set 6-3 and utilized their experience to claim the decider narrowly 10-8.

The win was viewed by the ecstatic pair as an ideal preparation for their Australian Open ambitions, starting next week, which will be their straight Grand Slam triumph if they win it.

They have not lost a match since the Western and Southern Open late last year.

“It’s good to have a tough test like this, this going into a Grand Slam. We don’t always play super tennis but we come out, find a solution and now we’re the best doubles pair in the world,” Hingis said after the match.

“It seems like a long time since we lost! One of us helps (the) other all the time. Even when we want to break a racquet, we have to shake it off,” Sania said.

In the men’s doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Romanian Florin Mergea defeated Australians Sam Groth and John Peers 6-2,6-4 to enter the final of the tournament.

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