World No. 1 women’s doubles pair Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, who won the Australian Open in 2016 following victories at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, announced they would be ending their doubles partnership with immediate effect.
Considered one of the most successful women’s doubles pairs in recent years, Mirza and Hingis were virtually unbeatable over the year, and ended 2015 as the top-ranked pair in the women’s doubles.
This year, however, following their Australian Open success, the two have had somewhat of a difficult year professionally, with a number of unexpected losses to players ranked much below them. The two took titles at St. Petersburg and at the WTA Italian Open in Rome, but beyond that have failed to replicate their 2015 successes.
According to several sources, it was former singles No. 1 Hingis who was said to be the driving force behind the split following lackluster performances. Known as the Swiss Miss, the tennis prodigy, who won Wimbledon at 16, was due to play in the women’s doubles this year with Timea Bacszinsky and in the mixed doubles with compatriot Stan Wawrinka; however, with Wawrinka withdrawing with a back injury, Hingis has only been playing the women’s doubles, progressing through the tournament with women’s top 20 singles player Bacszinsky.
Mirza, meanwhile, has seen her women’s doubles hopes ended in the first round, with the 29-year-old and partner Prarthana Thombare crashing out in a first round loss to China’s Shuai Peng and Zhang Shuai. She will, however, play her mixed doubles opener tonight with Rohan Bopanna, with the two taking on Australia’s John Peers and Samantha Stosur.
In her statement, the Indian ace clarified that the two would not only continue to ‘remain friends’, but also that they would be playing together at the WTA finals in Singapore this year, despite the fact that they have both entered the women’s doubles draw of the US Open with separate partners.
While Mirza will partner Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic, Hingis will pair up with Coco Vandeweghe of the United States of America. Interestingly, Vandeweghe is a former doubles partner of Mirza.
Mirza’s response in full: