Superb Santina conquer Italian open, their first ever title on red clay
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis ended their title drought going back to St Petersburg Open in February with a nervy finish in Rome. The Indo-Swiss pairing won 6-1, 6-7, 10-3 over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina to capture the Italian Open title. This becomes their first title on clay and comes at an opportune time with French Open starting on May 22.
Playing their third straight final on clay, Mirza and Hingis finally came good after losses in the final in Stuttgart and Madrid. The duo faced little challenge in the first set to take it with much ease.
‘Santina’ carried the momentum into the second and were 5-3 up before the Russians, Vesnina and Makarova clawed their way back into the match. This came after three breaks of serve were exchanged. In the ninth game of the second, Vesnina held on to make it 4-5 but Mirza couldn’t hold on to make it 5-5.
The second then went into the tiebreak where the Russians were 4-0 up before the World No.1 pairing made it 4-3. However it didn’t prove enough in the end. Mirza/Hingis saved two set points but a kill volley at the net by Vesnina handed the set to the Russian pairing.
In the super tiebreak, they shrugged off the hiccups to take the final six points and lift their 14th title together and fifth in 2016.
Heading into the French Open on a four match winning streak , ‘Santina’ are looking to make it four Grand Slams in a row, a complete box set of Grand Slam titles, having won Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open in a row.
This also marks the 14th title win for Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis.