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July 28, 2016

Martina Hingis

Sania Mirza

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


6-1, 6-1

An interview with:



THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Sania, can you take us through maybe the beginning of your partnership, who did the first steps, how it came about.
SANIA MIRZA: You can find it on Google because we've been asked this question a lot (laughter).

We first spoke in Dubai last year. It's almost been a good year and six, seven months now. We spoke then and we kind of decided to take it slow. We played Doha with our respective partners, and see how it went from there, then take a decision after Doha.

Dubai was the first time we spoke, so February basically.

It was just a matter of timing, I guess, that we were both kind of looking, so to say. We felt that we weren't able to achieve the results we wanted with the partners we had at the time.

Yeah, then we thought, Okay, we'll give it a shot. We didn't play with each other ever, we played against each other.

We decided to play Indian Wells and Miami and take it from there was the decision that was made. We ended up winning three tournaments in a row.

Q. What do you think having a partner who has had such great success in singles has brought to your doubles game?
MARTINA HINGIS: It wasn't just singles. Also a pretty damn good doubles player at that time. I had more slams in doubles than I did in singles.

SANIA MIRZA: No, like I said, we played against each other, but that was in singles and doubles. We played many times. We both kind of knew each other's strengths and weaknesses. I think together our strengths consolidate as a team, which is why we have the results we have over the last almost two years.

The things I don't do good, she does really well. The things she doesn't do that good, I do really well. That's what makes a great partnership. The good things come together and we are really solid together.

Obviously it's great. Like she said, she had so much success in singles, doubles, different generations, over the last 20 years.

MARTINA HINGIS: She took a big risk because it was almost like in the last century. Well, it was (laughter).

SANIA MIRZA: Yeah, it's great to have someone who has won Grand Slams before. Obviously the success we had, we probably knew or hoped that we could do well together. But I think to win 41 matches in a row, no one would have really thought that. That's not what you're aiming for: Let's get together and win 40 matches in a row. It's not something you think about.

Q. Martina, you were supposed to play the Olympics with Roger Federer. What happened now? Will you play with somebody else?
MARTINA HINGIS: I said I'm not going to answer. We have to figure out in our team what's going to happen now. It's in the process and I can't give you an answer to that.

All I had to say, it's already on Instagram and Facebook. Like I said, it's too short to make any abrupt decisions right now. When I know more, I'm sure you will know, as well.

Q. When you start your career and say that you're going to be a professional tennis player, do you think about playing doubles? Do you think you're going to be a great doubles player or do you focus on the singles, and the doubles comes up later?
SANIA MIRZA: We both played both. Normally that's how you start. I think there's very few people that come up and say, I'm just going to play doubles. It depends on body and stuff. At least for me. I had to make that move after three surgeries. Obviously, she's been around for so long.

We both played singles and doubles for so many years. At some point you have to choose because of your body. Obviously it's not possible, tennis is too physical, to keep playing 20 years both without a break for me. I don't know for her.

MARTINA HINGIS: The same. Back in the day, it was normal to play both singles and doubles. When I started the career, I wasn't thinking about, Oh, I come back and play just doubles.

It's different to come back, starting your career at 14, 15, like I did. You aim for having a singles career. Then I came back, I was 32, 33. I mean, I already had a comeback in singles. This time I felt like, Yeah, this is last chance. It kind of happened like this.

Daniela, she was the trigger at first, Hantuchova. Then Sabine Lisicki. I kind of did the coaching, all that. It was a different scenario in my case.

The health issues pushed both of us to kind of decide to really focus on the doubles. I mean, I'd rather be No. 1 in the world, I think Sania as well, than having to struggle through surgeries and throwbacks all the time. I think we did that already enough times that we kind of rather be the best and be able to win Grand Slams and tournaments in doubles, be as good as we can be at it.

Q. Do you feel like you're having more fun now than you had 20 years ago when you were world No. 1?
MARTINA HINGIS: Well, it's different. It's obviously not as stressful. It's a different routine. I mean, it's a lot of fun to play next to Sania obviously. We have great chemistry when we go on court. We do other things together. I think this is necessary. In both our cases, we like to socialize. Also that helps to be a great team I think. It's not only on court we're both emotional. It's also important on the court what you do off court.

For both of us, it's really the priority, the doubles. We both partnered singles players before or something. That's more difficult because you are really focused and that's your priority. That's what it is for us now.

Q. In Canada we have Daniel Nestor who is still playing in his 40s. Do you foresee yourself playing that long?
MARTINA HINGIS: You never say never, right? I already came back twice, so...

SANIA MIRZA: It's easy when you don't have to have kids.

MARTINA HINGIS: He already has.

SANIA MIRZA: As a guy, he doesn't have to have the kids.

MARTINA HINGIS: He can just bring the whole family.

I think if one of us has a break now, I think that's it. I don't think either of us would come back.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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