Wimbledon: Martina and me enjoying the experience on Centre Court, says Sania
India’s first lady of tennis, Sania Mirza added yet another chapter to her glorious career by winning the Wimbledon ladies doubles title with Swiss Martina Hingis at SW19 on Saturday. She’s been a Grand Slam champion before — thrice, in fact, twice with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi and once with Brazilian Bruno Soares, but all three were in mixed doubles — a format that’s played only four times a year, at the Slams. Women’s doubles is a tougher challenge given the number of top singles players that feature in it. Add to this, the title having been achieved at the hallowed turf of Wimbledon, and it’s like the icing on top of the cake for World No 1 Sania. In an interview with mid-day yesterday, Sania (28) said it was a surreal feeling to wake up in London on Sunday morning as Wimbledon champion. She also spoke of the on and off-court camaraderie between her and partner Hingis, besides the fiercely competed battle with Russians Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova.
India's Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis of Switzerland celebrate after beating Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina at the Wimbledon ladies doubles final on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Q. What was it like going into the tournament as top seeds and the pressure on you and Martina to win the title?
A. Obviously, there was pressure on us going into the tournament and especially as we had not justified our top seeding at the French Open. We are happy to have come through here on the biggest stage.
Q. There was a lot of smiling between you and Martina in the final even in tough situations. What was that all about?
A. We get along well on and off the court and the chemistry helps us get through tough situations. Despite being down, Martina and I were very positive and were thoroughly enjoying the experience of performing on Centre Court at Wimbledon. That’s why those smiles. We kept reminding each other that it was just a question of one break of serve and we did manage to get that eventually. And that shifted the momentum in our favour.
Q. When do you think the match turned in your favour?
A. When we broke back for 4-5 in the third set after being 2-5 down.
Q. It’s been a fine season so far for you. You became World No 1 recently and now, the prestigious Wimbledon title. Can it get any better?
A. It has been an unbelievable period of my career! But I am looking forward to the hard court season that will start again. I just have to keep working hard.
Q. You had beaten Makarova-Vesnina in two finals (Indian Wells and Miami) before this. Was that playing on you mind on Saturday?
A. Yes, those were incredible victories too earlier this year, but all that counted for nothing when this final began. They played a great game. In fact, all four of us put everything out there. It was amazing tennis. It felt amazing to wake up as champions
Q. It’s the holy month on Ramadan. How special does that make this win? Can we say Eid has come early for the Mirza family?
A. I attribute everything to the will and blessings of the Almighty. My father was in the Players’ Box and seconds after he broke his fast with a glass of water, I won the Wimbledon title.