Thursday, April 27, 2017

Kim Clijsters says Maria Sharapova has been punished enough

Despite rivals' chorus of disapproval, former star says Sharapova has served her time.

If the dipping temperatures in Stuttgart, looking to turn icy in the coming days, are getting to Maria Sharapova a little more than others, she can hardly be blamed.

After all, more of her peers on the professional women's tennis tour have publicly disagreed with the concept of her getting a wild card into tournaments than those who spoke out in her defence.

But the Russian, who returns to competition today at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix following a 15-month doping ban, can at least count on some warmth from Kim Clijsters, a former rival who has exchanged several steely stares with her across the net before.

As far as the Belgian is concerned, Sharapova - who tested positive for meldonium at last year's Australian Open - has paid her dues.

Said the former world No. 1, who is in Germany as a legend ambassador for the Oct 22-29 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore: "(Sharapova) has done her time, and she's done her punishment.

"I was disappointed and surprised when the news came out, but now she's done her punishment and she's starting her career with zero ranking. She has to build her way up anyway."

Clijsters struck a different tune from many active players on tour.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki have been among the most vocal, objecting to tournament organisers handing Sharapova a way into tournaments. The Russian no longer has a ranking and is dependent on wild cards to compete at WTA events.

The 30-year-old tennis star with five Grand Slam titles will also be playing in Madrid and Rome. She opens her campaign against Italian Roberta Vinci, an opponent she has not lost to in two meetings so far. It will be the first time the Russian is allowed on-site at the Porsche Arena.

Clijsters' more forgiving stance, perhaps, stems from a unique perspective as former player and official. The 33-year-old was tournament director of a WTA tournament in Antwerp in 2015.

Said Clijsters: "Having been both sides, as a tournament director and as a player, it's up to the tournament whether they want to give a wild card or not.

"She still has all the Grand Slams that she's won, she's still the name. I assume for sponsors, spectators, especially in this situation, everyone wants to see how well she will do.

"It's a tough situation for Maria to be in. All eyes will be on her. I'm sure it was really tough for her to be on the sidelines for that long. She's had the career that she's had - and I don't think she needs to be punished more because of 'the reason'," added the four-time Grand Slam champion.

"In a week's time, this news will be over and she will be back on tour, maybe playing some of her best tennis. I'm excited to watch her play... I'm interested to see, just like everyone else is, to see how she will do."

Interesting, but I'm also not surprised that Kim is supportive, she's always been one of the nicest, and most level headed players on the WTA Tour. 

I also find it interesting that Maris is getting so much flack (even though I do tend to agree with it to an extant).  

But I don't recall Martina Hingis having the same problem. Granted hers was a completely different case in that it was not a performance enhancing drug, and she was away a lot longer (2 full years), but still. I don't recall her getting a lot of complaints from players on receiving wild cards. 

It could also be that Martina is mostly a doubles specialists these days, but she did have as high a profile and still does, if not higher as Sharapova and clearly people have forgiven her. 

It's just something that has been on mind with Sharapova's return to the tour this week. 

I also find it unfair, that when male tennis athletes get caught for doping it's never as hot a topic, and certainly never seems as highly covered by the main stream media.  

Usually it's jut a blurb or a highlight on the news.  It's so sad how there's still such a sexist double standard when it comes to elite female athletes.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kim Clijsters new legend ambassador for WTA finals in Singapore

STUTTGART (Germany) - Former world No. 1 tennis player Kim Clijsters will make her first trip to Singapore this October, after being announced as a legend ambassador for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, the prestigious season ender of the women's professional tour.

The four-time Grand Slam winner will join fellow WTA legends Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the role, and will be in Singapore during the Oct 22-29 event.

She was unveiled in her new role on the sidelines of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on Tuesday (April 25), where the ticket sales were also launched.

Clijsters, who retired in 2012 and now is a mother of three, won the year-ender three times (2002, 2003, 2010).

She said: "There's always something special about the WTA Finals. It's one of the biggest and proudest achievements of my career and I'm really excited to be an ambassador for the WTA Finals. I look forward to see who will make it to the top eight."

Reigning champion Dominika Cibulkova was also at the launch, despite having to pull out from the Stuttgart competition due to a wrist injury.

Re-living the biggest win of her career, she said: "I look at my trophy almost every day and it reminds me of a great moment of what I was able to win. It was full of emotion."

Players on the WTA began earning for one of eight singles slots available for the WTA Finals. Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova and Dane Caroline Wozniakci currently lead the leaderboard on the Road to Singapore.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Roger Federer getting ready for Seattle match with Bill Gates and John Isner

After sitting out the second half of the 2016 season with a knee injury, tennis great Roger Federer has made a remarkable comeback. At the age of 35, he has won the three biggest tournaments of the year so far, including the Australian Open back in January. Now the living tennis legend is coming to Seattle. Federer will be at Key Arena for the "Match 4 Africa 4" along with Bill Gates and American tennis pro John Isner on Saturday April 29th. KOMO's Frank Lenzi chatted with Federer, who is training right now in Dubai.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Roger Federer says he's a 'totally normal guy not- Mr. perfect'

Roger Federer is firmly established as one of the world's most popular athletes, but he says he isn't under pressure to keep up that image.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion has gained a huge following for his pleasing game, sportsmanship and accessible personality, yet he describes himself as just another normal guy.

"It's not a burden," he said in an interview with Tages Anzeiger and German-speaking reporters to promote his scheduled appearance in Stuttgart. "I can, happily, be myself. The picture is also distorted. Everyone thinks [that] because I have success, everything is wonderful.

"But, also, I am constantly working to improve myself. Whether it's organization, the father of a family, a tennis player."

Federer added that fans have gotten to know him as a player and a public figure, though he is quite private away from the courts.

"Happily, I give many interviews, where I can be normal,” he said. “People can feel, ‘This is not Mr. Perfect. This is someone who is totally normal.' It's nice that I have such a good image. But it is primarily around sport."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Roger Federer still undecided on this year's Roland Garros

(CNN)Will he? Won't he? Roger Federer has cast an element of doubt over whether he will compete in the tennis season's second grand slam -- next month's French Open.

The Swiss great told CNN Sport that missing the second major of the year to extend his current break from the Tour was "still an option right now" and he will make a firm decision just before the French Open starts.

Federer, who missed six months of last season with a knee injury, surprised the tennis world in March by announcing he would take eight weeks off to recover from a fairytale start to the year.

At 35, and having won the three biggest titles of the year to date -- the Australian Open, Indian Wells and the Miami Open -- the 18-time grand slam champion decided he needed to rest and would return to action two weeks before the start of the French Open on May 22.

But Federer, who has won the French Open once, in 2009, told CNN Sport: "I don't think I will skip it, but I will have to see in, say, four or five weeks how I feel when I get on the clay, how my mood is.

"If I feel like I'm not 100% in it, that I'm (not) really fired up -- and I believe that is something possible -- then it is better to skip it.

"But then I think maybe the break is a long one. It will be 10 weeks until the grass -- that could be a bit long, but I will make a definite decision in five weeks. But I think I will play the French."

Last month the world No.4 revealed his physiotherapist had advised him not to play too many matches on clay because of the impact the demanding red dirt would have on his knee.

He had, after all, taken an enforced six months off after Wimbledon last year because of an injury which had threatened to end his glorious career.

After winning the Miami Open in March, his 20th match of the season, Federer said his body and his mind needed time away from the grueling Tour.

Roger Federer (L) plays world No.1 Andy Murray on a floating tennis court before the pair prepared to play each other in 'Match for Africa 3' to raise money for the Swiss' foundation.

Federer, outside the world's top 10 before his incredible Australian Open triumph in January, has climbed to No.4 in the world rankings, having suffered defeat just once this year.

The Swiss will not currently play enough matches to close the big gap between him and world No.1 Andy Murray, who is six years his junior.

In fact, these days Federer is less concerned about his ranking and has no intention of changing his schedule in a bid to knock Murray off the top spot.

"I just don't think I can," said Federer, speaking before his exhibition match with Murray for the Swiss' foundation earlier this month.

"I would like to. At 23 years old, absolutely, you can start saying I'll play the last 20 tournaments of the season if it helps with me getting a better chance with the world No.1.

"That's exactly, though, when I get injured. That's exactly when I burn out and that's exactly when it all ends so that's exactly why I did take a break for six to seven weeks and just really relax the body again.

"I also said the mind needs a break, the stress and pressure that I have every single day from playing is a lot.

"I won't change anything. If it happens great, but I really think it's a long, long shot. But, who knows. I really hope I can do very well at Wimbledon and the US Open this year."

It is at Wimbledon, not the French Open, where Federer is more likely to claim his 19th grand slam.

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Murray will be above him in the pecking order in Paris on a surface he has not always enjoyed playing on.

But even if he did win a record eighth Wimbledon title, Federer said he had no plans to retire
"Honestly, I wish I knew a date, where I said 'okay this is going to be my last tournament,' then I could plan my whole life around it, but I don't," he said.

"I want to leave it open. We'll see what happens, see what I feel. I just hope when I leave, I can do it on my terms."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Martina Hingis & Timea Bacsinszky thrill home crowd at Ladies Open Biele Bienne

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland - Former World No.1 Martina Hingis and fellow Olympic Silver medalist Timea Bacsinszky enjoyed a happy reunion at home, knocking out Diana Marcinkevica and Carina Witthoeft, 6-2, 6-3, in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne.

"It's really cool," Bacsinszky said after the match. "What we have together, we shared so many big emotions and two unbelievable weeks. Those memories will stay with me forever."

Bacsinszky and Hingis paired up for the first time at the Olympic tennis event, stunning 2012 silver medalists Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka en route to the Gold medal match, where they lost a tense two-setter to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Back together in Biel/Bienne, the pair reunited with the upcoming Fed Cup semifinal in mind; the Swiss team takes on Belarus in two weeks for a spot in their first final since 1998, when Hingis helmed the squad in singles and doubles.

"It was amazing to play again with her here, and great preparation for Fed Cup," Bacsinszky added, "because you never know, if it's 2-2 in a semifinal, you'll want to have some matches under your belt to get the connection back.

"That was important for us, so that's why we decided to play here. I'm thrilled to play here again in Switzerland with my home crowd!"

The Swiss are certainly looking strong at home. With Hingis and Bacsinszky cheering her on from the stands, Viktorija Golubic extended her winning streak to eight straight matches on Swiss soil, having won both singles rubbers in last year's Fed Cup semifinal against the Czech Republic, her maiden title at the Ladies Championship Gstaad, and her first round match in Biel/Bienne, a nail-biting three-set win over Volvo Car Open semifinalist Laura Siegemund.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Andre Agassi: Roger Federer can play for 4 or 5 more years

Last month Roger Federer signed a three-year contract with Basel event until 2019, when he will turn 38. Playing until that year would mean being on the ATP Tour for two years and a half more, but according to Andre Agassi the Swiss tennis player would be able to play also until 2022 when he will be 41. 

Asked if seeing Federer still competitive makes Agassi think that he could have played more, the former American player himself, interviewed by Marca, said: 'No no. Coming back I would have probably called it a career before. 

Every tennis player has a different career and each one has his reason to retire. In my case my body had told me to stop and I didn't have other choice. Also, I never had Roger's game. For me it was easy, but it seems that he can keep going for other four or five years. The only thing I can say is that when the end comes, it comes in a fast way and you do not expect it. Something happens and everything changes.'

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Roger Federer plays fun match for Africa vs Andy Murray in Zurich Switzerland

Tennis fans got to see Andy Murray back in action after a spell out injured...but probably not how they expected .

The World No.1 was forced to withdraw from the Miami Open in March after injuring his elbow. He has also has suffered with shingles and illness since the turn of the year.

The Brit subsequently missed Great Britain's exit from the Davis Cup against France over the weekend but kept up his promise to play against Roger Federer in 'The Match for Africa 3' at the Hallenstadion on Monday night..but not before he had taken on the Swiss champ on a FLOATING tennis court.

The duo knocked balls about on a raft as it floated down the river Limmat in Zurich.

And later than night they returned to more normal surroundings as Murray 6-3 7-6 (7/5) against in-form Federer.

Reigning Australian Open champion Federer is set to take a voluntary sabbatical before the French Open begins at the end of May.

Asked what his plans were over the coming weeks, Federer responded: "Not very much."I'll be resting most of the time. The body needs a rest, I can feel it.

"Everything is good. I should be back for the French Open, that's the plan."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Roger Federer prioritizing health over tournaments

Roger Federer has reiterated that it is all about maintaining good health at the moment rather than chasing records after making his best start to a season since 2016.

The Swiss ace has won three titles – Australian Open, BNP Paribas Masters and Miami Masters – from the four tournaments he has played in 2017 and it has seen him rise from number 17 in the world to number four within a space of three months.

Federer has surprised himself with his current run, especially since he is returning from a six-month injury layoff that forced him to cut his 2016 season short in July. The 18-time Grand Slam champion has been tipped to reach the summit of the men's world rankings again, but made it clear that it is not his goal at the moment. He is presently focusing on remaining fit.

He announced a ten-week break after his win at Miami, which will see him return to the court only for the French Open that begins 22 May.

The 35-year-old won his 91st career singles title by defeating Rafael Nadal in the final of the Miami Masters recently and is now just three behind Ivan Lendl (94) who is second on the all-time list and 18 behind leader Jimmy Connors (109).

Further, Federer admitted that it will be nice to achieve 100 titles before calling time on his career, but insisted that he will not chase it by playing smaller events where he will have a better chance of winning.

"I guess it would be nice to reach 100 just because it´s a good number. But then again, I´m not picking the easy ones to win, to be honest. I´m not going to play smaller tournaments just to chase that, as you can see. I´m even now taking a ten-week break," Federer said, as quoted by

"Like I said, health comes before everything, before every record at this point. But sure, this has been an incredible start winning three titles this year and none last year. Things are definitely better this year. But for those kinds of numbers I need to stick around for a while and play very, very well at the high level. It´s going to be difficult so we´ll see what happens. 100 would be a great number, of course," the former world number one added.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Martina Hingis, Belinda Bencic enjoy Biel/Bienne Kids Day

BIEL/BIENNE, Switzerland -- Children attending the Ladies Open Biel Bienne over the weekend got to get a glimpse of two of their country's biggest WTA stars, as Switzerland's Belinda Bencic and Martina Hingis participated in the tournament's Kids' Day festivities, organized by Swiss Tennis.

The duo forms quite the Swiss trifecta on the WTA Tour alongside Timea Bacsinszky and held a youth clinic as part of the event ahead of the Monday's main draw.

Both players will face Carina Witthoeft in the first round of their respective tournaments, as the wildcard Bencic will face the German in singles while Hingis and Bacsinszky will square off against Witthoeft and Diana Marcinkevica in doubles.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Martina Hingis says her generation had more distinguishable players

Tennis - Former World No. 1 Martina Hingis, still a world-class doubles player, says her generation of  WTA players was for more interesting than the current set of players. In an interview with "Westfälische Rundschau", the 36-year-old says, 

"I think a lot of players today are more interchangeable. The fans can hardly distinguish them with their names, all ending in 'Ova'. This is perhaps a bit exaggerated, but it goes in that direction. Our generation was certainly one of the best. With the Williams sisters, with Steffi Graf, Monica Seles or Jennifer Capriati. We pushed each other mutually. Under no circumstances did any of us want to fall out of the top ten."

Hingis also commented that today's players are satisifed much more easily as compared to players of earlier eras. 

"Especially with the boys, I observe that they are good for a few weeks and then leave the training as soon as they reach a highlight. I have the impression that the players are satisfied too early."

Hingis became World No. 1 at the age of 16 and won 3 of the 4 Grand Slam titles in 1997. She won two more Slams in singles before injuries curtailed her singles career. She has luanched a comeback as a doubles specialist in recent years and was ranked No. 1 in doubles as recently as last year.

Can't say I disagree honestly. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Roger Federer says he won't chase #1, but it may come to him

After winning the three biggest titles of the year so far, Roger Federer fans dare to dream of the Swiss returning to World No. 1

Let's be clear about one thing: While Roger Federer would welcome a thoroughly unexpected return to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings, he has no interest in grinding his way back to World No. 1.

At 35, No. 1 is not the priority. Physically and mentally, it can't be. Winning Grand Slams and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, leading a balanced family life and staying healthy and motivated is what's most important to the Swiss, who holds the record for spending 302 weeks at the top spot.

Andre Agassi (33 years, 4 months) was the oldest man to reign as World No. 1. Federer, who was last No. 1 in October 2012, would be more than two years older than the American should he reclaim top spot later this year.

After sweeping the March Masters at the BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open presented by Itau, Federer said that he would likely shut it down this month and next before returning for Roland Garros (beginning 28 May). Currently 1,810 points clear of second-placed Rafael Nadal in the calendar-year Emirates ATP Race To London (a predictor of the year-end rankings), Federer’s sabbatical will see the Spaniard cut or possibly wipe out the Swiss’ lead in the Race during the clay swing.

ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, a former World No. 4 and a winner of 20 titles, says, “Right now Fed’s got a better than 50 percent chance of finishing the year No. 1. When you look at how far Djoker and Murray are behind, I think it's going to come down to Roger and Rafa.

“Roger has finished the year No. 1 five times and in four of those five times he's left Miami first in the Race. He told me after the match that he's not 24 anymore and that possibly he'll only play the French. That's three Masters 1000s out of the way, but he can finish No. 1 if he wins one of the last three majors, which is certainly possible. He belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of the seven greatest athletes of all time, along with Michael Jordan and Tom Brady.”

Federer told Gilbert and ESPN viewers on court that he was “focussing on the French, the grass and then the hard courts is going to be the key for me. And if things happen for World No. 1 that would be great, but I still believe I’m a long way away.”

Later, in his press conference, Federer expanded on his goals for the rest of the season, saying, “Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal... but all of the grass really is important to me because I'll play Stuttgart and Halle there, too. Then of course I am looking very good for the [ATP] Finals, for the year-end championships, where I've been very successful. I like the indoors as well. So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That's why I'll take a break.”

Federer has opened a significant gap on the rest of the field in the Emirates ATP Race To London after winning the three biggest titles so far this year: The Australian Open and ATP World Tour Masters 1000s in Indian Wells and Miami. At the beginning of the season it looked like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray would battle each other for No. 1, especially after they played an epic final in Doha in the first week of the season.

But unpredictability is one of the beauties of sport, and after a stunning first quarter of the season that no one saw coming, Murray (840 points) is 12th in the Race, 3,205 points adrift of Federer, and Djokovic (475) is 22nd, 3,570 points behind the Swiss. With Federer (4,045) first and Nadal (2,235) second, it feels more like 2007 than 2017.

Except for one thing: Gilbert believes Federer is playing better today than 10 years ago.

“I’ve been watching Roger since 1998 and in my humble opinion he is playing better tennis than at any point in his career,” Gilbert says. “He’s been forced to get better and he’s had to raise his backhand and return of serve. He’s playing more complete tennis. I look at the numbers and sometimes when something goes up, something goes down. But Roger’s breaking five per cent more while still holding 90 per cent of the time. And he’s converting 50 per cent of break points.”

Federer is determined that another key measure – his fitness – also remains in positive territory, hence his decision to embark on an extended break now. “I'm not 24 anymore. I have to pick my moments where I can peak and stay healthy,” Federer said in his presser.

“At the end of the day, I need to look out for my health, that I'm happy in all parts of my life, personal, private, on-court life, professional life, and I can't keep this pace up on every single day. Just too much and I'll run out. The desire will run out.

“I would rather take a step back and then really come back with a lot of energy and happiness. Then I can share that with everybody. Otherwise you'll see me here and you will see that all I want to do is get out of here. I don't want to be that guy. I really don't.”

Monday, April 03, 2017

Miami Open 2017 Champion Federer Reflects On The Journey

Sad he won't play any other clay event, but makes perfect sense if he even wants a shot at Roland Garros.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Roger Federer completes 3rd Sunshine Double with Miami title, his 91st!

Roger Federer Tumblr

Roger Federer Official Facebook

The legend continues to grow. Roger Federer extended his run of dominance in 2017, clinching his third title of the season 6-3, 6-4 over Rafael Nadal on Sunday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Federer added to his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 legacy, notching his 26th crown and third Sunshine Double (2005-06), having lifted the trophy in Indian Wells two weeks prior. The Swiss, who is projected to return to the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 4 on Monday, earned his 91st tour-level title in total.

On song throughout the fortnight in Miami, Federer rarely put a foot wrong in Sunday’s final, prevailing after one hour and 34 minutes. He fired 29 winners, including 19 off his forehand wing and five aces. The Swiss claimed two of nine break points, while turning aside all four faced. It was Federer’s first title at the hard-court event since defeating coach Ivan Ljubicic in 2006.

"I'm moving up in the [Emirates ATP Rankings] and I just want to stay healthy," Federer told Brad Gilbert of ESPN following the match. "When I'm healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this. That's why taking a break and resting during the clay season and focusing on Roland Garros, the grass and the hard courts after that is best. I would be great to be No. 1 again, but it's a long way away."

Arguably the biggest storyline on the ATP World Tour this year has been the renewal of one of the most storied rivalries in the history of sport. It was front and centre once again at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, with Federer and Nadal writing a 37th captivating chapter. With the Spaniard seeking revenge after falling at both the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open, it marked the earliest they've played each other three times in a season.

Heavy and humid conditions greeted both competitors as they sought to take the initiative early and often. Federer showed his resilience following a three-hour semi-final epic against Nick Kyrgios on Friday. Looking to carry the momentum after a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nadal in Indian Wells, he would deny break points in three of his first four service games. Federer struck first at 4-3, flattening an inside-out forehand to push Nadal off the court and secure the opening break of the match. He would consolidate a game later to seize the 48-minute opener.

Looking to turn the tables in the second set, Nadal would overcome a break point at 3-3 30/40 with a lunging volley winner. Despite employing a more aggressive gameplan, he was unable to change the momentum, as Federer remained calm in the big moments and eventually captured the decisive break for 5-4. The fourth seed emerged victorious on his first championship point as a Nadal forehand sailed long.

Flawless against the Top 10 this season, Federer improved to a staggering 7-0 against elite competition and is now 19-1 overall. It is his best start to a season since 2006, when he went 33-1. The first 30 & over final in tournament history, at 35 years and seven months, Federer became the oldest Miami champion.

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title Leaders

Player Titles

Novak Djokovic 30

Rafael Nadal 28

Roger Federer 26

Andre Agassi 17
Andy Murray 14

Exactly 12 years removed from their first-ever meeting in a final, won by the Basel native in five sets, he took a 10-9 lead on hard courts in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. Nadal still leads 23-14 overall, but the Spaniard has dropped their four most recent encounters, dating back to 2015.

With both players projected to return to the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, Federer earned 1,000 points and $1,175,505 in prize money and Nadal took home 600 points and $573,680. The Mallorca native was bidding to claim his first title in his fifth final appearance in Miami and join Andre Agassi as the only players to win ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in their teens, 20s and 30s. Nadal was seeking a 29th Masters 1000 crown in total and 70th at the tour-level. He remains in search of his first hard-court crown since Doha 2014.

Someone pinch me, I think I'm dreaming.  

On second thought, don't wake me up. 

Congrats Swiss Maestro, now get some well deserved rest.  

See you at Roland Garros in May!.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Martina Hinigs and doubles partner fall short of Sunshine double in the semi finals of Miami

Sania Mirza combined with her partner Barbora Strycova to stave off a strong challenge from Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan and reach the women's double final at the Miami Open tennis tournament.

Sania and Barbora lost the opening set of their semi-final clash on Saturday before staging a brilliant comeback to script a 6-7 6-1 10-4 against their fifth-seeded opponents.

The third seeded Indo-Czech pair will face the unseeded Canadian-Chinese team of Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan in the battle for the title.

Sania, who had clinched the women's doubles title alongside American star Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Brisbane Open in January, will be eyeing her second title of the year.