Indian female tennis star Sania Mirza partnered with American Bethanie Mattek to win the ladiesâ€™ doubles event at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament to start off the new year. â€œThis is the best start to the year Iâ€™ve ever had â€” winning a Premier event like the Brisbane International is a great thrill,â€ she said. â€œAlthough we are now the no. 1 team this week, we would like to finish the year on a similar high,â€ Sania said.
And this appears to be the cherry on top of a successful 12 months of doubles tennis for Mirza that has landed her and Mattek in the pole position for a spot in the season-ending doubles championship in Istanbul. Mirza and Mattek have 470 points, followed by Kveta Peschke and Annalena Groenefeld (320), Cara Black and Anastasia Rodionova (280). The top 10 doubles teams take part in the tournament.
In the individual doubles rankings, Mirza is 12 and Mattek 27, which should make them the 10th seeds for the Australian Open, the seasonâ€™s first Grand Slam, beginning next week. Mirza is currently playing in the Sydney International, partnering with Liezel Huber, with whom she had won her first WTA title â€” the doubles crown at the Indian Open in Hyderabad a year after turning pro, in 2004.
Mattek is forced to miss the Sydney event as she is playing the Australian Open singles qualifiers. She will join Mirza for the doubles event of the Australian Open and then continue the partnership for the rest of the year. And the 26-year-old has decided to focus entirely on doubles from now on.
â€œIâ€™ve played singles and doubles for over a decade at the highest level in international tennis and with the support of my family I have managed to bounce back from all kinds of serious injuries. But after three surgeries my body is just not up to playing singles as well as doubles any more. Iâ€™ve tried whatever I could but with a heavy heart I feel itâ€™s time to move on and focus completely on doubles where I feel I can still win a few more Slams,â€ she says.