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.
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. “We have to go back to work. I an going to have Fed Cup and I am playing in Hyderabad after nine years. I have to pack bags and board the flight. No time for celebrations,” she is not complaining though.
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. Now that they have emerged as a dominant force on the circuit, Sania must be eyeing the missing women’s doubles Grand Slam title from her cupboard.
She came close to win her first women’s doubles in 2011 when with Russian Elena Vesnina she reached the final of the French Open but could not cross the last hurdle. “We will give everything we have to try and win that Grand Slam,” she said.