Reaching the top easier than staying there: Sania

October 20, 2016

Six-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza is gearing up to ensure that it will be another memorable outing in Singapore when she partners Martina Hingis again to defend the year-end WTA Finals doubles championship next week.Sania will retain her World No. 1 ranking if she wins the event again. The others in the race for the top slot include her former partner Bethanie Mattek Sands.

Sania’s 80 weeks at the top is an Indian record. Leander Paes was World No. 1 for 39 weeks and Mahesh Bhupathi for four weeks.

The three other women in the history of the game who have had a longer continuous stint on top in women’s doubles are Martina Navratilova, Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

Hingis lost her No. 1 ranking the day she split with Sania and was beaten by the Indian in Cincinnati, and is not in the race for World No.1 right now, irrespective of the result in Singapore.

Sania will be partnering Hingis after the pair parted ways in August this year as they qualified for the Singapore event when they were together on the circuit. With Hingis, the Hyderabadi has won 14 titles including 3 Grand Slams.

“It has been an amazing journey and just inspires me to work harder. I feel truly blessed and honoured to have held this position for this long,” Sania said.

For someone who won her first WTA title (doubles, partnering Leizel Huber) in the Hyderabad Open in 2004, Sania has been a phenomenon of sorts from India, scaling unprecedented heights in women’s tennis.

“Reaching the top is easier than staying there for long. And, this is what gives me great satisfaction as this World No. 1 ranking also meant that I am the best in doubles. What more can any sportsperson ask for in any discipline,” Sania said.

“You don’t keep thinking day in and day out about these rankings. For, what matters ultimately is how well you play on a given day,” she said. “In terms of satisfaction, there can be few greater joys than being the World No. 1 for so long and I for sure will treasure this long reign.”


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