SINGAPORE (AFP) – Sania Mirza and Cara Black reeled off 12 straight games to stun defending champions Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai by the record score of 6-1, 6-0 in the WTA Finals doubles final yesterday.
The Indian-Zimbabwean team, playing their last match together, lost the first game against the favourites but then put together the phenomenal streak to lift the Martina Navratilova trophy in Singapore.
It was the heaviest defeat ever witnessed in the end-of-season competition’s doubles final which dates back 41 years to 1973, the year the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was founded.
And it sealed an amazing turn-around after Black and Mirza saved four match points en route to the final, including three in their semi-final against Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.
With just under an hour played, Black sealed the title with an overhead through the centre of the court and then turned to embrace Mirza, who will partner Hsieh next season as both pairs split.
“When we won that first match, honestly we were both almost were like, ‘Okay, maybe that’s a sign. Maybe we’re going to win it,’” Mirza told reporters.
“It was great — we saved the best for the last. I think today was our best match. One of our best matches at least, and one of our best matches we played against them.”
Mirza, 27, was making her tournament debut, while 35-year-old Black has won the title twice before with different partners and appeared at 10 straight WTA Finals between 2000-2009.
The result was all the more remarkable as China’s Peng and Hsieh of Taiwan, who also won this year’s French Open, had a perfect 12-0 record in doubles finals ahead of Sunday’s match.
“To end this way, we couldn’t have asked for a better start or end. It kind of sums up our partnership,” Mirza said.
“But I’ve also found a great friend in her. Almost like an older sister to me. I’m the oldest in my family, so I learned a lot from her on and off the court.”