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17 July 2024

Sania Mirza, Mattek-Sands win doubles title

Sania Mirza of India and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US celebrate their win during the doubles final against Nadia Petrova of Russia and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP)

By Ajanta Paul

India's Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands clinched the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship doubles title in a thrilling tie-breaker
6-4, 2-6, 10/7.

Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik went down fighting in the one hour and 32 minutes match.

The unseeded Indo-American duo were wobbly at the start losing the opening game of the match.

But Sania, Bethanie managed to bounce back holding their respective games. They broke Petrova-Srebotrik in the 6th game then went on to win the set.

The second set started in a similar fashion and looked like Petrova-Srebotrik had a game plan in place.

Sania and Bethanie had to work hard for points as their opponents fought well winning the second set 2-6.

In the super tie-break, Sania and Bethanie were down initially before scoring six points in a row and emerging as deserving winner with 10-7.

Sania and Bethanie, however, sealed the match in their favour by winning the crucial tie-breaker.

A visibly delighted Sania the match said, "We were just trying to attack more when we lost the second set.  When we went down 4-Love, I think we went a little passive and defensive.  When you play people like Nadia and Kata, you have to be offensive."

The winning pair has played 20 tournaments together and they have now won all four finals they have contested, including Brisbane last month.

It was the 12th title for Mattek-Sands and the 16th for Mirza, who finished as doubles runner-up last year with Elena Vesnina.

Srebotnik has now finished as runner-up three times in the past four years, and it was the second runner-up finish for Petrova after she reached the 2006 final with Svetlana Kuznetsova.