Sania Mirza’s sensational form continued unabated as she upset seventh seed Marina Hingis to storm into the quarter finals of the $600,000 East West Bank Classic tournament here today.
Sania beat the world number 12 Swiss 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 at the Tier II hard court tournament. Sania will now play the winner of the match between French Virginie Razzano and her good friend Shahar Peer of Israel. The Hyderabadi achieved a career-best WTA ranking of 30, riding on the back of her sterling form at US hardcourt tournaments for the past three weeks.
Sania’s impressive build up to the US Open started with the Cincinnati Open where she reached the quarter finals and followed it up with a final berth at Stanford and a semi-final appearance at the Acura Classic last week.
Three top-20 players —Tatiana Golovin, Patty Schnyder and Dinara Safina—bore the brunt of Sania’s fury in last three weeks. Today it was the turn of former Wimbledon champion Hingis. With this win, Sania’s record against Hingis stands at 2-2, the last two having gone in the favour of the Indian.
Sania got off the blocks in a flash and broke Hingis twice to take the opener with ease. A resurgent Hingis fought her way back and broke Sania twice and saved two break points to equalise.
However, Sania got her act together in the decider and held serve besides breaking Hingis once to seal the issue in the thrilling match that lasted a little over one and a half hour.
The Indian had earlier beaten the former world number in straight sets at a hard court event in Seoul last year. In doubles, Sania has teamed up with American Bethanie Mattek and they will open their campaign against the Slovakian-Dutch pair of Janette Husarova and Michaella Krajicek.
Bhupathi all praise
Kolkata: Mahesh Bhupathi lavished praise on Sania Mirza after she toppled Martina Hingis at the East West Bank Classic on Wednesday. In a teleconference with the media from Canada, the doubles specialist said: “It’s a great day for her, but to tell the truth I am not surprised or shocked. I always knew she was capable of making it big. She is on a roll now and I hope she will climb greater heights. She has always been an exciting prospect.”