Sania to end the year as World No. 1

The Indian tennis ace will achieve this milestone despite a semi-final loss to reigning Olympic champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina at the prestigious WTA Finals in Singapore.

“Finishing the year as No. 1 is amazing – it’s a dream come true and gives me the motivation and inspiration to come out and work even harder next year,” Sania said.   -  Getty Images

Sania Mirza will hold on to her No. 1 ranking in women’s doubles when the WTA publishes its year-end list on Monday.

The Indian tennis ace will achieve this milestone despite a semi-final loss to reigning Olympic champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina at the prestigious WTA Finals in Singapore.

“Finishing the year as No. 1 is amazing – it’s a dream come true and gives me the motivation and inspiration to come out and work even harder next year,” Sania said.

The 29-year-old Sania has done enough to finish the year as the World No. 1 (which she first claimed in April 2015) for the second consecutive year and has become only the sixth player in the history of women’s doubles to be ranked No. 1 in the world for all the weeks of a calendar year (2016).

“It’s very, very exciting to finish two years in a row as No. 1,” Sania said. “It’s been an incredible year for me, with seven WTA titles, a Grand Slam and ending the year at the WTA Finals in Singapore. Well, I repeat it is not very often that any sportsperson can be the World No. 1 and that too for so long. It gives a special feeling.”

Interestingly, Hingis has slipped down to No. 3 in women’s doubles rankings after the WTA finals.

This is by all means a standout performance from the six-time Grand Slam winner from Hyderabad. Sania has won eight titles with three different partners in 2016, including the Australian Open, partnering Hingis.

In August she started a new partnership with Barbora Strycova, playing at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and winning the trophy.

The duo won its second trophy at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Then, the Hyderabadi clinched another, partnering Monica Niculescuat, at the Connecticut Open in New Haven.