New Delhi: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis lost to French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic 4-6, 4-6 in the final of Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday in a match which lasted one hour and 26 minutes. This is the second final loss in a row for the World No.1, and at the hands of the same opponent.
The last time Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis faced the team of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic was in the final of the Stuttgart Open last month. In a closely fought contest, the French pair defeated Mirza-Hingis 2-6, 6-1, 10-6 to lift the title. This was after the Indo-Swiss pair had beaten them earlier this year in the final of the Apia International Sydney Tennis tournament.
However, the clay surface has been a stronghold for the French pair, who started the final on the front foot. There were seven exchanges of breaks in the first set with the fifth seeded team winning four of them. Mirza and Hingis' service was put under a lot of pressure and the World No.1 pair won just 33% of their first serve points. Eventually, Garcia-Mladenovic won the set 6-4 and then raced to a 2-0 lead in the second set.
Mirza and Hingis fought back, however, they were unable to break their opponent, despite earning four break points in the seventh game of the second set. The quality of the French pair's service game proved to be the difference in the end, with the duo dropping in 80% of their first serve in the second set, compared to 59% of Mirza and Hingis.