Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis reached their fourth final in six tournaments as they beat Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik 6-2, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals of Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome on Saturday.
With this win, they reclaimed the top spot in the ‘Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard’ – a year-long ranking system in which the top eight teams qualify for the prestigious year-ender tournament.
First final on European clay for Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis
After joining forces right before the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis got off to a fantastic start, winning their first three tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston. But they somehow failed to recreate the magic on European clay as they stuttered in the Round of 16 in Stuttgart and in the quarters of Madrid.
However, it all came together in the year’s final elite warm-up event before the French Open – the Italian Open.
The women’s doubles semi-final at Rome started with as many as five breaks in a row as the two teams kept putting pressure on each other with strong returns. It was finally Hingis and Mirza who stopped the trend and went up 4-2 with a service hold. Soon after, they wrapped up the first set 6-2.
In the second set, the top seeds had the early momentum as they broke their opponents to lead 3-1 and then 5-3. But the Indo-Swiss pair was broken serving for the match and the match headed to a tie-break. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis claimed the tie break and the match, 6-2, 7-6(5) in 87 minutes.
The top seeds will square off against the third-seeded pair of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the final on Sunday. Hingis and Mirza will go into the final with a lot of confidence as they had beaten Babos and Mladenovic in their only previous meeting this year at Miami.
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