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Sania one win away from becoming world number one

Sania Mirza

Charleston (USA): India’s Sania Mirza is standing on the cusp of history as she is now one win away from becoming world number one in doubles after reaching the final of the WTA Family Circle Cup with partner Martina Hingis.

The top seeded pair of Sania and Hingis overcame a second-set lapse to beat Russian girls Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 1-6 10-7 in the semifinal.

They were up 6-4, 0-2, 30-all, when skies opened up and the resultant break allowed the Russian to regroup.

Kudryavtseva and Pavlyuchenkova cruised through the rest of that set, 6-1, and came out firing again in the match to tie-break, going up 4-2. But Sania and Hingis fought hard and made it 7-7.

They overcame a bout of nerves to reel off three straight in a row to clinch the issue.

“It’s never easy to play with the rain delay. All credit to them, though – they came out more aggressive than us, and we didn’t win a single point for six points, it was like they were all over the place hitting winners from everywhere. But we knew we had to keep believing,” Sania said.

“One of our best qualities as a pair is that no matter how we’re playing, we keep fighting. We’ve had matches where we haven’t played our best, and we still come out winning, and that really helps. We keep trying and we keep believing in our abilities. And that’s really what we did today,” Sania added.

Hingis was asked about the miracle backhand return winner that took them to match point.

“I knew they were mainly serving a lot to my backhand, and I lost the last few crosscourts with Alla, so I just took my chance and went down the line,” Hingis said. “But I also hit it a little bit late, though!”

Hingis and Mirza are now 13-0 together, going 5-0 to win Indian Wells, 5-0 to win Miami and 3-0 to reach this final. By winning their quarterfinal match on Friday night they secured the No.1 on the Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard.

If they win the title, Sania will become World No.1 in doubles, the first Indian woman ever to reach No.1 in tennis.

“You try not to think about it, but we’re human, and I’m obviously thinking about it,” Mirza said.

“But I’m trying to block it out and play every point. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

They will now fight it out with Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak, who got past Marina Erakovic and Andrea Petkovic in the other semifinal 6-4 1-6 10-5.

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