History was created at the ING Vysya Hyderabad Open as Sania Mirza partnered Liezel Huber to become the first Indian woman to win a professional tennis title on the WTA Tour. She also stepped into the footsteps of legends like Vijay Amritraj, Leander Paes, Ramesh Krishnan, Ramanathan Krishnan, and Mahesh Bhupathi, becoming, at age 17, the youngest Indian tennis player in history to win a professional Tour event.
The Hyderabadi prodigy teamed up with South Africa’s Liezel Huber to defeat the 3rd seeded Chinese pair of Ting Li and Tian Tian Sun 7-6(1),6-4. With this remarkable performance, Sania shoots up over 200 places to the Top 200 in the world in doubles. With a potent serve and punishing ground-strokes, Sania controlled the match, much like Friday’s semi-finals, proving that her Wimbledon win last year was no fluke, but a sign that India had discovered it’s first major women’s tennis star.
A beaming Sania said “It’s unbelievable to win my first title in my hometown. I feel I have improved a lot over the last year. My game is stronger and my confidence is greater, and I really believe this title is just the first of many. As I spend more time with my coach Bob Brett, I know the results will soon show a dramatic improvement in singles too. The best part is that I should get into the main draws of the Grand Slams in doubles, and the belief that I can compete at highest level”.
Her partner Liezel Huber when asked what the best part of Sania’s game was, said “She doesn’t hesitate to go for her shots even though she is really young. That’s how all the great players like the Williams sisters started. Yes I know that when you are young they won’t always go in, but eventually they will, and when they do, you end up as a Top player and that’s where she is headed”.
Sania now takes time off from Tennis to complete her Class XII Board exams. This will be followed by the Federation Cup and another stint with her coach Bob Brett.