Sania Mirza on Saturday became the first Indian woman to win a Wimbledon title as she and partner Martina Hingis produced a fabulous fightback to claim the Women’s Doubles Title under the Centre Roof lights.
Mirza, 28, and her 34-year-old Swiss partner held their serve and their nerves to beat Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 5-7 7-6(4) 7-5.
The match had been stopped at 5-5 in the third set to allow the roof to be shut as darkness fell on the All England Club.
Mirza was playing her first doubles final at Wimbledon while former world singles number one Hingis lifted the trophy with Helena Sukova in 1996 and Jana Novotna in 1998.
“This is above my expectations,” Hingis told reporters. “I had a great partner to pull me through.
“It takes guts and courage being 5-2 down in the third set. Couldn’t have asked for more drama.”
“To come out here at Wimbledon, this is something we dream of as kids,” said Mirza.
“Every kid that picks up a tennis racquet this is about winning Wimbledon or playing at Wimbledon one day.
“When we came out at 5-5 we had goosebumps. The energy on the court, we were getting a standing ovation, it was unbelievable. We both came out and I said, This is what we play for, this is what we work for, this energy.”
Mirza praised the support she and Hingis received throughout the tournament and hoped her win will have a positive impact back home in cricket-mad India.
“I hope it inspires a lot of girls and makes them believe they can be Grand Slam champions too,” she said.
“I think for me as an Indian, I’m in Little India here. There are so many Indians in England. Thankfully there are a lot of us everywhere. In England especially I’ve always had amazing support.”