This year has surely been one to remember for Sania Mirza. After all, it’s not always that you win 10 tennis doubles titles in a season. A World No. 1 rank in doubles under her belt is just the icing on the cake and she admits it has been her most enjoyable season so far.
But Sania doesn’t want to rest on her laurels. She’s already looking forward to the next season, and more importantly, the Rio Olympics in August.
“It will be a dream come true if I win a medal. If I don’t, life goes on. It’s not the end of the world. As far as my partner is concerned, it’s way too early to decide something so much in advance. This is something that I have spoken about before and I will make a call as the tournament approaches,” she said in an event in the city on Tuesday.
The Hyderabadi ace said that this season was more than surreal for her, and that she exceeded her expectations.
“It’s November now. If you’d ask me in January if I’d be sitting here and talking about me being the top-ranked player in women’s doubles, I’d be laughing out loud,” said Mirza, who became the first Indian to achieve the feat.
The duo of Sania and Martina won nine doubles titles this year, the latest being the WTA Finals title in Singapore on Sunday. “It’s nine for us (Sania-Hingis), but 10 for me,” said Mirza who won the Sydney International with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in January.
“When you start planning your season at the start of the year, you don’t expect to end it with 10 titles. It’s been a long year and each of those victories were important,” she added,
But which of those 10 triumphs ranks at the top? “You always remember the first title you’ve won. It’s nice to have so many to choose from, (she laughs) but I’d have to say Wimbledon ranks at the top of the list. As far as the highlight of the year is concerned, it’s certainly ending the year as No. 1.”
Such has been the dominance of Sania and martina that the duo are now unbeaten in 22 matches and have dropped just two sets since their last defeat — to Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan in Cincinnati.
“Martina (Hingis) deserves a lot of credit for this. We paired up together in March and she’s been the reason why this season has been one where I haven’t been plagued by injury. Keeping fit was as important as winning these tournaments. Playing with her tells you that it’s one thing to be No.1 and another to end it on the top as well,” said Mirza who won her first title with the Swiss ace at the Indian Wells Masters in March.
When it comes to what went wrong this year, Mirza wished that her form in the women’s doubles would show in the mixed doubles as well. “You hardly get to play mixed doubles. It’s not been a good year when you talk about how Bruno (Soares) and I have played. That said, there will be a change in partner next season as far as mixed doubles is concerned,” said Mirza whose best performance with the Brazilian was a semifinal finish at the Australian Open.
Sania’s 2015 (Women’s doubles)
Tournament Partner Month
Sydney International Bethanie Mattek-Sands January
Indian Wells Masters Martina Hingis March
Miami Open Martina Hingis March/April
Family Circle Cup Martina Hingis April
Wimbledon Martina Hingis June/July
US Open Martina Hingis August/September
Guangzhou International Women’s Open Martina Hingis September
Wuhan Open Martina Hingis September/October
China Open Martina Hingis October
WTA Finals Martina Hingis October/November