Sania-Martina on course for WTA Finals knockouts
Singapore: Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won their second match in a row to more or less seal a women’s doubles semifinal spot in the $7 million WTA Finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
Following their straight sets victory in the opening match of the red group of round robin on Monday, the Indo-Swiss combine came up with another brilliant performance to beat Czech seventh seeds Andrea Hlavácková and Lucie Hradecká 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 17 minutes.
Playing on hard courts, Sania, who won the prestigious tournament last year with Zimbabwe’s Cara Black, and Martina got off to a perfect start by first holding their serve and then breaking the Czechs in only the second game of the match.
They again broke Andrea and Lucie in the sixth game of the first set to take a 5-1 lead.
Serving for the set, the reigning Wimbledon and US Open champions were, however, broken by the seventh seeds in the seventh game. The Czech girls also went on to hold their serve in the next game.
But at 5-3, the world’s top-2 ranked Sania and Martina only needed a couple of minutes to pocket the set in 33 minutes and take the lead in the match.
Like the first set, the Indo-Swiss pair was broken once in the second set. But Sania and Martina were just too good, breaking the Czech serve twice more to easily pocket the contest.
Sania and Martina, the only pair in their group to have not lost a set, will take on Hungarian-French fourth seeds Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in their final round robin match on Friday before the knockouts.
The top seeds were superb when it came to breakpoint conversions, winning four of the five chances made available to them.
The WTA Finals is an annual event played by the top-8 players/pairs of the year who are divided into two round robin groups — red and white.
The top-2 of each group progresses to the semifinals and the following winners to the finals.
The championship is generally considered the fifth most prestigious event on the women’s tour after the four Grand Slam tournaments. It also has the largest prize money and ranking points after the Grand Slams.