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Sania-Martina clinch Sydney International crown


Sydney: At one stage seemingly set to lose the final, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis came up with a stupendous performance to earn a fantastic come-from-behind victory and clinch the Sydney International title at the Ken Rosewall Arena here on Friday.

The top seeds were down and almost out when they were trailing 1-6, 2-5 against French third seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. But the Indo-Swiss combine staged a remarkable come-back to eventually win the second set 7-5 and the super tie-break 10-5 in an hour and 14 minutes at the NWS Tennis Centre.

This is the Indo-Swiss pair’s 30th win in a row, second title of 2016 and 11th overall. They have now won seven titles on the trot with the Brisbane International crown coming last week and five of them coming in 2015.

The 29-year-old Sania was the defending champion here but last year she won the title with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The first set turned out to be disastrous for the Indo-Swiss pair, who were not only broken thrice but they also served four double-faults at crucial junctures to literally give away the set.

They were down a break at 2-5 in the second set when Sania and Martina somehow found their legs to turn it around. The top seeds won the next five games, breaking their opponents twice in as many chances available, to remarkably seal the set and push the match into the decider.

The super tie-break was anybody’s game but the Sania-Martina duo had the experience and the nerves to seal it 10-5 and clinch yet another title and prepare themselves in the best possible way for the first Major of the year — the Australian Open which starts on Monday.

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