New Haven (US) : India’s Sania Mirza and Zheng Jie of China picked up their first title as a pair at the New Haven Open at Yale. Saturday’s final was far from easy but Sania and Zheng emerged with their first WTA title in their fourth outing, beating second seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 6-4.
The third-seeded pair were extended to match tie-breaks in their first two matches here. After a comfortable semifinal win, they faced Anabel and Katarina, who had never won a title together but who had 55 WTA doubles titles between them, reports the WTA website.
Sania and Zheng fell behind an early break but quickly rallied. From 3-3 in the first set, they won six of the next seven games to capture the first set and take control of the second.
They did have a bit of trouble closing it out. At 5-2 in the second set, Anabel and Katarina won two games in a row and then got to deuce on Sania’s serve before the Indian-Chinese pair finished the game on their fifth match point. “We didn’t start the tournament too well, winning a couple of what you might call ugly matches,” said Sania.
“But we kept getting better with each match. It was great to play our best match in the final. “It’s tough with this format. It’s relentless. There’s really no margin of error with the deuce points, the super tie-break. It’s just a toss-up sometimes. “Even the match was 63-64, but it was much tighter with the deuce points. The last set we won had three deuce games.”
Sania talked about how her partnership with Zheng, which will continue at the US Open, came together. “I was playing with Bethanie (Mattek-Sands) this year. She was playing with Nuria. Nuria got hurt. Bethanie got hurt. I was looking. We had played together in Brussels earlier this year and made the semis. We knew we could play well together. I think this is a good start and gives us big confidence for the US Open,” Zheng said.
“We are looking forward to playing together as long as possible.”