Indian tennis superstar Sania Mirza secured sole position as the number one in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) doubles ranking after teaming up with Barbora Strycova to beat former partner Martina Hingis and Coco Vandeweghe. The Indo-Czech pair beat their opponents 7-5, 6-4 in the finals of the women's doubles event of the 2016 Cincinnati Masters.
Hingis and Mirza were playing their first tournament apart since officially confirming their split in July and the Indian tennis international moved alone to the top of the rankings after beating Hingis on 21 August.
The duo were widely successful on the tennis circuit, winning 14 titles, including three Grand Slams, with Mirza admitting that battling for the top spot with her former partner, made it strange and awkward for her. "I'm not going to lie. It's a very difficult situation. It's not easy because A, because we are still good friends, so it's never easy. The first tournament we split and we come and we have to play each other. Of course there is no better match to play than the final, so was difficult, I think for both of us", Sania was quoted by WTAas saying.
"But having said that we are professional tennis players. We have to come out and we have to give our best and we have to try and win. That's all we can do, and we both tried to do that. It was going to happen eventually. We had to play against each other at some point. I think it's better that it happened earlier, as soon as we came out, because next time it's obviously less difficult to play," she added further.
The 29-year-old had a disappointing time in the recently concluded Rio 2016 Olympic Games, failing to win a medal. She competed in the mixed doubles tournament along with Rohan Bopanna, where they fell to Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram of the United States in the bronze medal match.