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Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova in finals at Sydney International 2017

WUHAN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic celebrate after winning the semi-final match against Hao-Ching Chan of Chinese Taipei and Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei on day 6 at Optics Valley International Tennis Center on September 30, 2016 in Wuhan, China.  (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
Winners! Mirza and Strycova have picked up where they left off from a successful 2016
Modified 12 Jan 2017

The top-seeded doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova took a triumphant victory today over fourth seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, beating them 6-1, 6-2 at the semi-finals of the Apia International in Sydney, Australia, in preparation for the Australian Open.Β 

The Indo-Czech pair took only 51 minutes in their clean dispatch of their American-Kazakh rivals, breaking them twice in the first set and holding on to their significant lead right through the match.Β 

Strycova had a successful run in the singles as well, pulling off a stunning victory over former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals to set up a semi-final clash with World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, who is seeded second at the tournament. The Polish ace took a quick 6-1, 6-2 victory, however, to oust Strycova from the tournament.Β 

Mirza and Strycova will now take on Timea Babos and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the finals.Β 

Since her title win in Brisbane, Sania Mirza has dropped in the rankings from No. 1 to No. 2, with former partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands – who paired with her for a one-off at Brisbane – taking the top spot. Mirza, the defending champion in both Brisbane and Sydney, won both those titles in 2016 with former partner Martina Hingis, with whom she enjoyed a deep purple patch of form before the pair announced a shock split in mid-2016.Β 

While Mirza began a partnership with Strycova, Hingis joined forces with American CoCo Vandeweghe. Coincidentally, both Mirza and Hingis’ respective partners are currently doing well in both the singles and doubles.Β 

Mirza, the defending champion at the Australian Open with Martina Hingis, will be the top-seeded player there. Having enjoyed a spectacular run of form to begin – and end – her 2016 season, the in-form Indian, who is currently playing the best game of her career, will hope to replicate that in 2017.Β 

Published 12 Jan 2017, 14:43 IST
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