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27 February 2024

Dubai Tennis: Sania Mirza, Mattek-Sands storm into the doubles final

India's Sania Mirza hits a return to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria during their women's singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Monday. (REUTERS)

By Ajanta Paul

One of the most popular players on the WTA Tour, especially when she's playing in Asia, India's Sania Mirza and her doubles partner American Bethanie Mattek-Sands stormed into the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

The unseeded Indo-American pair took out Australia's Anastasia Rodionova and Zimbabwe's Cara Black 6-2 7-5 in the semifinals of the USD 2,000,000 hard court event.

After winning Sania said, "The fact that Bathanie serves big and I give her the back up needed works for the two of us, we cover each other's back".

Indian tennis star took the court amidst lot of cheer from Indian expats and probably from Pakistan crowd having married Pakistan cricket star Shoaib Malik.

Mettek-Sands definitely has a better serve of the two, whereas Sania surprisingly showed better control with her second serve.

They broke Black-Rodionova's serve twice in the first set showing great combination of stroke, going on to win the set convincingly.

However, Black and Rodionova struck early in the second set breaking the 1st game from the winning pair.

Sania and Bethanie had to work hard for points as Black and Rodionova fought back stretching the match to one hour and 21 minutes. The first set was wrapped up in 30 mins but the second lasted for 49 minutes.

Sania and Bethanie now await winner of the other semifinal between the pairs of Nuria Llagostera Vives/Jie Zheng and Nadia Petrova/ Katarina Srebotnik.

The two players had won the Brisbane International last month to make a superb start to the 2013 season.