Doha, Feb 26: The streak is filly over!
The world’s top tennis team of Sania Mirza and Marti Hingis had not lost a match since last August in Cincinti. But their 41-match winning run came to a sudden halt at the hands of Russian duo Ele Vesni and Daria Kasatki with the Indo-Swiss top seeds losing 6-2, 4-6, 5-10 in the women’s doubles quarter-fil of the $2.8 million Qatar Total Open here on Thursday.
An accomplished doubles player, Ele won her most recent Grand Slam doubles title over Marti at the 2014 US Open when the Swiss partnered Flavia Pennetta. That script flipped in dramatic fashion less than a year later at Wimbledon after Marti paired up with Sania — the two roaring back from a 2-5 fil set deficit to beat Ele and long time partner Ekateri Makarova for their first Major title.
“That was an amazing match for us. We played against them just a week ago, and they’re one of the greatest doubles teams we have in women’s tennis. Everything worked for us to win and we’re just so excited about it. We changed our tactics a little bit in the second set and we saw that it started to work,” Ele said after the match which lasted an hour and 18 minutes.
“We stuck to this game plan and were a little bit lucky on some points, but it’s always like this in doubles with deciding points. Dasha played really well on key moments. She just went for her shots and made a lot of good volleys, so we’re really pleased and proud about this win.”
Daria added: “It’s unbelievable for me. Something huge because it’s just my third WTA doubles tourment and we beat Sania and Marti. For me, it’s something unbelievable.”
Nickmed SanTi by their followers, the top seeds’ historic streak began two months after their Wimbledon triumph at the US Open, which would be the first of nine straight titles as a team, including the Chi Open, WTA Fils Singapore, Sydney Intertiol, a third Major title at the Australian Open and, most recently the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy where they beat Ele and Daria in straight sets in the quarterfils.
“We were surprised that so many people came to watch. The court was packed. Most of the people were cheering for Marti and Sania, which is normal. It actually worked well for us. We were enjoying this atmosphere on the court. It felt like we were playing a fil,” Vesni said.
Had they won a 10th title in Doha, Sania and Marti would have tied Ja Novot and tasha Zvereva for the longest winning streak since 1990 at 44 match wins, but still had a long way to go before catching Marti vratilova and Pam Shriver, who amassed 109 straight wins between 1983 and 1985. IANS