Martina Hingis Sania Mirza Indian Wells
Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza with the Indian Wells trophyReuters

Sania Mirza has sometimes been given a bad rap by the media and even some of the tennis enthusiasts in India, with her pretty outstanding achievements quite often played down or overshadowed by, let's say, other things.

The Indian tennis star, indeed, has usually been more in the spotlight for her off-field incidents, be that her marriage to Pakistan cricket Shoaib Malik, which came after she broke off an engagement with another man, or her apparent "arrogance" as most of them put it, or maybe even her clanger while answering a pretty simple question in a game show recently.

With three straight titles with the legendary Martina Hingis, Sania has stormed back into the spotlight, and for the kind of reason which should have her showered with praise left, right and centre.

Getting to the world number one position in any sport is a major landmark, and for Sania to become the first Indian in the history of the sport to do so – in singles or doubles -- is something that deserves that standing ovation, that nod of the head in approval and that acknowledgement of just how good this extremely talented woman from Hyderabad is.

After finishing 2014 with the WTA Finals title – the most prestigious after the Grand Slams – with Cara Black, Sania would have gone into the New Year with hopes and aspirations of bringing in more crowns with her new partner Su-Wei Hsieh, an outstanding doubled player in her own right.

However, that partnership did not quite work out, with Hsieh uncomfortable playing the advantage court, and therefore leading to a lack of cohesion, which is so important in doubles.

So, the split was inevitable, which was the right thing to do for both Sania and Hsieh, a former world number one doubles player herself, and in stepped Martina Hingis, who has belied her years since stepping back into the circuit, to partner India's greatest ever women's tennis player.

Even Sania and Hingis would not have envisaged the partnership working out quite so well as it has, with Indo-Swiss pair going on to win at Indian Wells and Miami with ridiculous ease.

With that world number one ranking, both for Sania individually, and for Mirza-Hingis as a team, in sight there would have been a lot more pressure on the duo and it showed with the struggles in the earlier rounds.

However, the hallmark of a great team is the ability to come out with a win even when you are not at your best and that is precisely what Sania and Hingis managed, getting to the final with plenty of those super tie-breakers coming into play.

Even facing a match point in the semifinals against Anabel Medina Garringues and Yaroslava Shvedova, the dynamic pair somehow found a way through, and when it got to performing on the big stage, they were at their ruthless best again, outclassing Casey Dellacqua and Darija Yurak in the final in Charleston to clinch their third straight WTA doubles title.

Sania has done her talking with the racquet over the past 12 months, winning seven titles in all, something that is not even remotely to be scoffed at, and now it is time to give her due – get those hands clapping, and those praises coming, just like Saina Nehwal received when she gloriously became the world number one, if only for a few days, in badminton.

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