Sydney: Top ranked Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis survived a scare to win their 29th consecutive match as a pair on Thursday and enter the final of the Sydney International.
The Indo-Swiss tennis pair won a rain-interrupted semi-final 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in one hour and 32 minutes to beat Romanian-Kazakh pairing of Raluca Olaru and Yaroslava Shvedova on Court 1 of the NSW Tennis Centre.
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis. Pic/ AFP
In the process, they eclipsed the 22-year-old record set by American-Belarusian pair of Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, who won 28 consecutive matches in 1994. Sania and Martina have now begun to chase the world record which was set in 1990 by the dynamic Czech duo of Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova, who won a whopping 44 matches in a row.
On Wednesday, the Indo-Swiss combination overcame the Chinese pair of Chen Liang and Shuai Peng 6-2, 6-3 to enter the semi-finals.
They are eyeing their second win of the year together after winning in the Brisbane International last week. They claimed nine titles last year en route to being the top ranked women's doubles team, the highlight being wins at Wimbledon and US Open.
On Thursday, the top pair, dubbed "SanTina" by their fans, lost the first set 4-6 and were down 1-2 in the second set when rain intervened.
That helped them get back their rhythm as they fought back to overturn the deficit and claim the second set 6-3 and utilised their experience to claim the decider narrowly 10-8.
The win was viewed by the ecstatic pair as an ideal preparation for their Australian Open ambitions, starting next week, which will be their thier straight Grand Slam triumph should they are able to win it.
"It's good to have a tough test like this, this going into a Grand Slam. We don't always play super tennis but we come out, find a solution and now we're the best doubles pair in the world," Hingis said after the match.
"It seems like a long time since we lost!. One of helps each other out all the time. Even when we want to break a racquet, we have to shake it off," Sania said.
In men's doubles, Sania's compatriot Rohan Bopanna, partnering Romanian Florin Mergea, defeated Australians Sam Groth and John Peers 6-2, 6-4 in 57 minutes to enter the semi-final.