Sania Mirza was the standout performer for India in the world of tennis in 2016. The Hyderabad girl dominated the women’s doubles format and ended the year as the No. 1 ranked player in the world.
Sania and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis went on an incredible 41-match winning streak that was halted at the Qatar Open in February. The duo started this record-breaking run in September 2015 at the U.S. Open, the first of nine straight titles.
But the 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 defeat by the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina and Daria Kasatkina meant that the Indo-Swiss pair failed to go past Natasha Zvereva of Belarus and Czech Jana Novotna’s 1990 mark of 44 consecutive wins.
In August, Sania and Martina announced their split before playing one last time in the season-ending WTA Finals in October. The two decided to part ways after a successful partnership that fetched three Grand Slam victories and eleven WTA doubles titles.
“Perhaps, because of our great past results, we have had very high expectations from our partnership and unfortunately did not get the results we desired recently. We would like to clarify that it was a totally professional decision based purely on our recent results,” the duo said in a joint statement.
India’s campaign at the Rio Olympics 2016 kicked off with a major controversy due to Leander Paes’ delayed arrival. It just got worse from there.
Most fans knew that Rohan Bopanna and he lacked the chemistry to win a medal but none had anticipated a first round exit for the duo.
The Indian pair endured a straight sets loss to the Polish pair of Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski. On the very same day, Sania and Prarthana Thombare too bowed out in the women’s doubles after a 7-6 5-7 7-5 loss against China’s Shuai Peng-Shuai Zhang.
Mirza and Bopanna though came really close to delivering a medal for India in the mixed doubles. After playing some solid tennis, they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradceka in the bronze medal play-off. The Indians lost 1-6 6-7.