New Delhi: There has been many cherished moments in her eventful tennis journey during the last decade but the enormity of becoming World No 1 is such that Sania Mirza has been left with a "surreal feeling" even though she had always dreamt of achieving this feat.
Sania Mirza is ecstatic after winning the women’s doubles title at the Family Circle Cup tournament on Sunday. Pic:AP/PTI
In an extraordinary run with Martina Hingis, the Indian ace has not lost a match in the last three tournaments and with the title win in Charleston (US), she now sits atop the WTA ranking table in doubles.
She is only third Indian after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi to scale the peak. "I am really excited. It's surreal feeling. It's something I dreamt in my life, I am really excited to achieve it," Sania told PTI from Charleston.
She has numerous firsts to her credit in her 12-year-long tennis journey so far. A journey which is laden with moments of success and despair.
Winning Grand Slams, being forced to quit singles to prolong her Pro career, there have been many such moments.
So after all those ups and downs, what exactly does No 1 rank mean to her?
"It means everything. It was a dream for everyone, for my family and my team. I feel privileged that I was able to achieve it and the way we did it in the last five weeks to have played our best tennis. I feel honoured and hope I go forward from here," the 28-year-old, who has three Major titles in her kitty, said.
But there is "no time for celebration" for Sania and her team as she quickly gets ready to take a flight to Hyderabad where she has her next assignment in Fed Cup starting today.
Hat-trick of titles with Hingis
Since joining forces with Swiss legend Hingis, in 14 matches spread over three tournaments, they have lost only three sets. They have won three titles in a row — Indian Wells, Miami and now Charleston.
"She's a great champions, she been there helped me in tough moments when I was getting a little tight. It's been tremendous and privileged to have some good partnerships over the years but this partnership has been good from the start and hopefully we can continue.
"We have been playing very well together. We helped each other out when the other person is down, we play different games altogether and our chemistry worked on court. I am happy to have won last three tournaments in a row," she said.
"She's (Hingis) very happy we were together in this," Sania spoke on Swiss Miss' part.
Narendra Modi@narendramodi: An excellent accomplishment @MirzaSania! Congrats on being World Number 1 in doubles.
sachin tendulkar@sachin_rt: Congratulations to @MirzaSania on being crowned World No.1 in Doubles. Terrific achievement and will inspire more to pursue the sport
Kiran Bedi@thekiranbedi: Sania Mirza world no 1 in women's tennis- doubles: First Saina in Badminton, now Sania in Women's tennis.Wow! Superb run for Indian sport..
Kapil Sharma@KapilSharmaK9: Today only coz of you @MirzaSania India n pakistan both r celebrating together ...Proud of you... More power to u
Saina Nehwal@NSaina: @MirzaSania World number 1 in doubles congratulations huge achievement ??????All the very best for future tournaments .
Shikhar Dhawan@SDhawan25: Congratulations @mirzasania. Such a proud moment for the nation! More power to you. #WorldNo1
Shah Rukh Khan@iamsrk: @MirzaSania well done. Ur hard work over the yrs has paid off not cos u became no.1 but becos no1. needed an ambassador for the game like u.
Shraddha Kapoor@ShraddhaKapoor: World number oneee!!! Congratulations @MirzaSania !!! #ProudMomentForIndia #HeadsUp
Azhar Mahmood@AzharMahmood11: ...well done Sania on achieving world number 1 spot! Mubarak
Robin Uthappa@robbieuthappa: Congratulations @MirzaSania on becoming world No 1 in doubles!! An amazing testimony of your focus and determination!! Keep going girl!!