Sania Mirza reached another landmark when she won her 17th WTA doubles title at New Haven Open at Yale in the US. The 26-year-old Indian and Zheng Jie of China defeated A Medina Garrigues and K Srebotnik 6-3, 6-4 in the final. “I have won 17 WTA titles with 11 different partners, but New Haven is the only place where I have won for the second time,” said Sania in an e-mail interview. Excerpts:
On your new achievement, reaching 25 finals...
I did not even know about it until someone pointed it out to me after I had reached the final! I consider it to be a significant personal landmark.
On winning the final in New Haven...
I have won 17 WTA titles with 11 different partners but New Haven is the only place where I have won for the second time!
On a new partner in women’s doubles for the US Open. You have had different partners in this year’s Grand Slam events...
Yes, Bethanie (Mattek-Sands) has unfortunately been struggling with injuries and decided to focus on singles, although we were doing very well together. Zheng Jie’s partner was also injured and we decided to get together for the US hard court season.
How will be the Indo-China partnership? How many matches you have played so far?
We have had mixed results so far. This is the fifth tournament that we were playing together and we’ve won a title and reached the semis and quarter-finals in two others. We’ve also lost early in a couple of events but hopefully, we are just settling down now as a team.
How was the year as regards to your performance, particularly your fitness and game?
I’m feeling good physically and playing close to my best. But doubles is about combining with your partners and as I’ve had to play with different partners for various reasons, the results have not been as consistent as they could have been, although I’ve just won my third title of the year.
On mixed doubles, who will be your partner?
I will be partnering Horia Tecau (Romania) again at the US Open. I thought we had a decent run at Wimbledon and we are hoping to carry on from there.
US Open has always been a good tournament for you. How different is it from other Slams?
I’ve had my best singles results in a Grand Slam at the US Open, reaching the last 16 stage. I love the hard courts of US even though they have slowed down considerably in recent years. However, this is the only Grand Slam where I haven’t won a title and I would love to put the record straight by winning here. I won the mixed doubles at Australian Open and at Roland Garros and have the junior Wimbledon doubles trophy adorning my cupboard as well.