Sania Mirza picked up her first silverware of the season at the Brisbane International Open when the Indian and her doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-2,6-3 in the final. In doing so, however, Sania conceded her World No.1 crown to her American partner.
The Indo-American pair of Sania Mirza and Bethanie Mattek-Sands took just 76 minutes to dispatch their second-seeded Russian opponents in the final. Sania and Mattek Sands broke their opponents an incredible 5 times in the two sets to set up the win.
In the absence of Mirza's partner Barbora Strycova, who opted to participate in the ASB Classic singles event, Mattek-Sands partnered Mirza for the tournament and it was the American who ended Sania's 91-week reign at the top of the WTA doubles rankings by replacing her at the top.
"I feel like I'm handing over Miss World No.1 crown," Mirza said after the match.
Mirza had won the tournament last year as well, when she was partnering Martina Hingis, and wanted to put up a good show in Australia as a defending Champion.
"We always have good matches (against Vesnina/Makarova). It's great to come back as defending champion. Thank you to my partner and best friend. We go a long way, we play once a year, the last time we played, we won in Sydney," Mirza added.
"I think we should play a lot more. Thanks for playing with me. I was No.1 in the world but congratulations to her for becoming No.1 now. If not me, then her, she has had an amazing year."
Sania will now take part in the Sydney Open and will resume her partnership with Strycova before the duo play at the Australian Open.