The formidable pairing of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Swiss superstar the former World number one Martina Hingis have finished the year in style. The hugely successful duo were recently named as Women’s Doubles World Champions by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in recognition of their stupendous success in season 2015. Hingis became an ITF World Champion after 15 years. She was last named World Champion, in Women’s singles, in the year 2000.
Hingis had retired from the game in November 2007, following months of injuries and a positive test for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, during the 2007 Wimbledon Championships, which led to a two-year suspension from the sport. In July 2013, Hingis came out of retirement to play the North American hard court season, partnering Daniela Hantuchová.
Sania and Martina teamed up as a pair only in March this year and quickly proved a force to be reckoned with in 2015, winning two Grand Slam titles at the Wimbledon and the US Open, and seven Grand Prix tournaments, thus making the women’s doubles events very much their own.
They won their last 22 matches from the start of the US Open through wins in Asia at Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the WTA Finals, ending the year with a 55-7 record. It is a phenomenal record for the pair and justifies their top rankings.
“I am very honoured to receive this award from the ITF after what has been a great year for me and Martina. It is incredible that we have achieved so much in such a short time playing together. I am grateful to everyone that has helped me throughout my career and I hope that my success can inspire other girls in India,” Sania said.
Martina said,”It is a great honour to be named ITF Women’s Doubles World Champions. Sania and I have enjoyed every minute of the season and we hope to continue in 2016 in the same fashion. We are set to join a long list of champions and it is a privilege to be recognised alongside them.”
The ITF also announced American Serena Williams and Serbian Novak Djokovic as the 2015 ITF World Champions.
Williams has been named Women’s World Champion for the sixth time, while this is the fifth occasion that Djokovic has received the honour.