Sania Mirza might not be the world's number one ranked women's doubles player anymore and her form might have taken a wrong turn since her split with Martina Hingis, but the India superstar can still garner another Grand Slam title if she manages to hold her nerve in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open on Sunday.
The Indian and her doubles partner Ivan Dodig will play Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal for the mixed doubles Australian Open title at the Rod Laver Arena, a little before Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal take centre-stage.
Sania and Dodig will start as the favourites, considering they are the No.2 seeds and their American-Colombian opponents are unseeded.
Dodig and Sania have not had the easiest of passages into the final, needing super tie-breaks in three of their four matches in this 2017 Australian Open.
After seeing off the challenge of Laura Siegemund and Mate Pavic in the first round, Sania and Dodig have failed to win any of their other matches in straight sets.
They needed a 10-6 win in the super tie-breaker to top Saisai Zheng and Alexander Peya in the second round, before playing out a wonderful quarterfinal against Gabriela Dabrowski and Indian Rohan Bopanna.
Dabrowski and Bopanna seemingly had the match sealed in that quarterfinal, but Sania and Dodig somehow saved a barrage of match points to eventually prevail 12-10 in the super tie-breaker.
Then came a win over home favourites Sam Stosur and Sam Groth, with that victory sealing their place in this mixed doubles final.
In the quarterfinal and semifinal matches, Sania and Dodig have let slip a one-set lead, allowing their opponents back in before scrambling to a win in the super tie-breaker. That is something they can improve upon – if they take the first set, make sure they are tuned in during the second as well and finish the match off.
Because Cabal and Spears will not prove to be easy opponents. The unseeded pair is yet to lose a set in this Australian Open, so a perfect match will be necessary for Sania and Dodig to stand tall and lift the coveted trophy.
When to Watch Live
The mixed doubles final is set to begin at 4pm local time (10.30am IST, 5am GMT, 12am ET).
Live Streaming and TV information
Australia: TV: Channel 7. Live Streaming: 7 Live.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
UK: TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.