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Santina Strike 40 In St. Petersburg

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – WTA Doubles Co-No.1s Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza maintained their perfect start to 2016 – and their still-unbroken winning-streak – in the final of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, winning their 40th straight match over Vera Dushevina and Barbora Krejcikova, 6-3, 6-1.

Dropping just one set through four more victories in Russia, “SanTina” are now within striking distance of surpassing the longest winning streak since 1990, when Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova won 44 in a row; the reigning Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open champions still have a way to go to break the ultimate record of 109 – held by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver in 1983.

“We’re obviously very happy to win another title but now that we’re coming closer and closer to the next target of 44, we can’t help but think about,” Mirza said after the final. 

“But it’s not something we really want to think about; we’re really excited ot be at 40! We didn’t think in our wildest dreams that this was going to happen. I think I can speak on behalf of both of us that we’re going to play every match on merit and try to get to 44.”

Hingis and Mirza were the talk of the pressroom during their week in St. Petersburg, and though they’re trying not to look too far ahead, Mirza hopes to be back next year to defend their title.

“I definitely think it’s an amazing tournament, and I feel the hospitality made it so comfortable. I also think you should give them especially because it’s the first year of the tournament, and to put up such a tournament any year is never easy, so I’d love to come back.”

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Belinda Bencic To Make Top 10 Debut

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Belinda Bencic has been checking off a number of career firsts at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy this week: first time playing a WTA event in Saint Petersburg, Russia; first time being the No.1 seed at a WTA event and, as of Monday’s WTA Rankings, first time ever in the WTA Top 10.

By reaching the final at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, Bencic is guaranteed to break into the Top 10 ranking – she moved to No.9 by reaching the final and could climb as high as No.7 if she wins the title.

“This is a very big day for me,” Bencic said in an interview after defeating Daria Kasatkina in the semifinal (highlights here). “As a small kid, everyone is dreaming to one day become Top 10. And now I realize that all the hard work paid off. Until now, I didn’t know if I would make it.

“But this is an amazing moment for me and just… my dream. My goal is reached.”

This time last year, the Swiss prodigy was ranked No.37 and already on an upward trajectory, currently sitting at No.11. A flourishing 2015 saw her win a title in Eastbourne – defeating Agnieszka Radwanska in the final – and in Toronto – notching wins over Serena Williams and Simona Halep along the way – as well as reach two finals.

She might have just accomplished her dream of a Top 10 debut, but there are still plenty more milestones for Bencic to reach – after all, at 18 years old she’s just getting started.

“So yeah, now my next goals are just to keep climbing up, to keep winning matches and still to enjoy it.”

 

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