Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova part ways

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Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova have mutually decided to part ways as they've chosen to focus on different priorities for the rest of the year. While Sania, who will now team up with Yaroslava Shvedova, wants to win a few majors in the doubles section, Strycova wants to focus on her singles game.

Mirza’s new 29-years old partner Shvedova is from Kazakhstan, plays right-handed, and is ranked 13th in the individual doubles rankings. She has won 13 career doubles titles, including women’s doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open crown in 2010 on the WTA tour, besides one singles crown.

While Strycova chose to rest this week, Mirza found a temporary partner in another Czech player, Andrea Hlavackova, for the Family Circle cup in Charleston. Though the duo were seeded second, they lost their quarter-final match against  Raquel Atawo and Jelena Ostapenko last evening in straight sets, 2-6, 4-6.

Mirza has now returned to her home in Hyderabad for a few weeks of rest before the beginning of the clay court season. Her father and coach, Imran Mirza, spoke to ESPN confirming the split with Strycova, saying, "Yes, 2 titles, 3 finals, 2 semis and a couple of quarter-finals is a pretty decent showing over 10 tournaments together. But while Barbora would like to focus this year on her singles and is finding it exhausting when she goes deep in one or both formats, Sania is looking to win a few more big titles in doubles. Hence, it was mutually decided to part ways.'

Mirza joined forces with Strycova after parting ways with Martina Hingis last year, following a splendid run which included a 41-match unbeaten run and three consecutive Grand Slam titles. The Indo-Swiss duo parted ways following early exits at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Once again, Mirza tasted immediate success with Strycova as the duo picked up the Cincinnati title in August, their first tournament together. Further, though, they lost in the quarterfinals of the US Open, they won the title in Tokyo and finished as the runners-up at Wuhan in September.

They haven’t been able to win a title this year, despite reaching the business end of tournaments, most recently, the finals of the Miami Open last week where they were beaten in straight sets by Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada & Yifan Xu of China. The Indo-Czech pair also reached the finals of the Sydney Open at the beginning of 2017 but were upset in the pre- quarterfinals of the Australian Open by the Japanese pair of Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato.

Mirza and Strycova also reached the semifinals of the events in Doha and Dubai and were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells. The only tournament Mirza has won so far this year, is the first tournament at Brisbane, in the company of American Bethanie-Mattek Sands. Though Mirza was the top-ranked player in the WTA individual doubles rankings, not winning a title of late has seen her slip to the seventh spot.

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