Sania Mirza seals historic world no 1 rank with Charleston title

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Charleston (USA), Apr 12: Sania Mirza today created history by becoming the first female tennis player from India to achieve the world number one rank in doubles, following her stupendous title win at the WTA Family Circle Cup with partner Martina Hingis, here.

The top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair blew away the challenge of Casey Dellacqua and Darija Jurak 6-0 6-4 in just 57 minutes in the lop-sided final of the USD 731,000 clay court event.

Sania Mirza (left) and her teammate Martina Hingis with their WTA Family Circle title

Sania took 470 points from the win to take her tally to 7965 as she jumped past Italy's Sara Errani (7640) and Roberta Vinci (7640) to sit atop the ranking table.

The official ranking chart will be issued tomorrow. Before Sania, only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhuapthi had achieved the top rank when they dominated men's doubles circuit in the last 90s.

Sania is also first female player from the country to win Grand Slam tournaments. It is Sania's third successive title win with Hingis and they have not lost as a single match since joining forces in March.

They won trophy in Indian Wells, which was their first tournament together and followed up that with win in Miami. Sania and Hingis have lost only three sets in 14 matches, spread over three tournaments.

They have already become the world number one team in the Race to Singapore, the season-finale, where top-8 team compete at the end of year.

Sania and Hingis strolled past their rivals as they bageled them in just 22 minute to take the opening set.

They lost serve in the first game of the second set but broke back immediately. If the unseeded Australian-Croatian pair had any chance to make a comeback, it was by cashing in on chances and they did not help their cause by squandering two break opportunities in the fifth game of the second set as the winners opened up a huge 4-1 lead.

Casey and Darija though kept fighting and gradually reduced the margin. Serving for the match, Sania and Hingis were broken, perhaps the enormity of the achievement made the Indian nervous.

They kept their nerves and broke their opponents for one final time in the 10th game to close the match in their favour.

PTI

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