Brisbane: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis carried the dominance of 2015 into the new season, winning their sixth consecutive title by lifting the WTA Brisbane trophy, here today.
The top seeds quelled the challenge of German wildcards Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic 7-5 6-1 in mere 69 minutes.
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis discuss strategy during their women's doubles-final match of the Brisbane International tennis tournament against Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Sania and Martina, the world number one team, have now stitched a 26-match winning streak together, which has brought them six titles in a row at the US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing, WTA Finals and now here.
It is the longest winning streak since Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci's 25 in a row in 2012. Sara and Roberta had won five titles in a row, at Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, the French Open and 's-Hertogenbosch.
The top seeds drew the first blood by breaking the rivals in the second game but the joy was short-lived as Kerber and Petkovic reeled off four straight games to take a 4-2 lead in the opening set.
Sania and Martina though were not perturbed, having defused such situations many times in the last few months. They went about their business calmly and restored the parity with another break.
Soon it was 4-4 and the Indo-Swiss combination held the ninth game, forcing Kerber and Petkovic to serve under pressure and remain alive in the set. The unseeded team though did not crack and stayed solid to make it 5-5.
Kerber and Petkovic again served at 5-6 to stretch it to a tie-breaker but offered two break chances to Sania and Martina and the top seeds obliged on second to nose ahead.
The top seeds controlled the game better in the second set, racing to a 3-0 lead by breaking their rivals in the second game.
It was a cakewalk for them from there, losing only one game before closing the match in their favour.
This is the Indo-Swiss pair's 26th win in a row and the first title of 2016. They have now won six titles on the trot -- the longest winning streak in the category since the 1994 season when Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva were on a 28 match-winning streak.
Also, this is the 29-year-old Sania's second victory in Brisbane after partnering American Bethanie Mattek-Sands all the way to the title in 2013 while Martina was the defending champion, having sealed the crown with German Sabine Lisicki last year.
The six titles they have won in a row are the US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing, WTA Finals and Brisbane International. It is the longest winning streak since Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci's 25 in a row in 2012. Sara and Roberta had won five titles in a row, at Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, the French Open and 's-Hertogenbosch.