SINGAPORE: No.2 seeds and defending champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza won their first match as a pair since splitting in August, defeating Chan Yung-Jan and Chan Hao-Ching, 7-6(10), 7-5, to reach the semifinals at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore and help keep Mirza's hopes of finishing 2016 at World No.1 alive.
"It's great to be back in Singapore," Mirza said during their on-court interview. "It's also great to be back with Martina, and it's good to get that win."
"Our bond is what made us so strong, to win those tough points in the past," Hingis said. "No matter how you play, or what's happening on the court, you have to work through the tough moments and get the momentum going. It's been two months since we were last on court together, and it was great to be back out there with Sania."
Across the net were the Chan sisters, who came to Singapore having won their third title of the season at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open. The Chans pushed the No.2 seeds into a tense first set tie-break, one that saw each team engineer three set points before the defending champions converted to take the opening set in just over an hour.
Edging ahead an early break in the second, Santina appeared on course for a straightforward victory before the No.6 seeds roared back from a 2-4 deficit, winning three games in a row to get within one game of a match tie-break. Undaunted, Hingis and Mirza won the last three games to advance into their second straight semifinal in Singapore.
Battle For Year-End No.1 Continues
Friday's win keeps Mirza in the hunt to retain her No.1 ranking through the end of the season,
Mirza is up against top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic along with No.3 seed Bethanie Mattek-Sands, all of whom have a change to take the top spot.