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Former doubles partner Elena Vesnina stands in the way of Sania Mirza's quest for first Wimbledon title

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:18 IST

For Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, this is the chance to win her first ever title at Wimbledon, across all categories. More importantly, this is the chance to end her major title drought in the women's doubles category, where she became the World number 1 earlier this year. In 2009, 2012 and 2014, the Hyderabad-born athlete lifted titles at Australian Open, French Open and US Open, respectively, in the mixed doubles' category, but successes in women's doubles continued to elude her.

The farthest Sania reached in the section was in the 2011 French Open, where, partnering up with Russia's Elena Vesnina, she finished as a runner-up to Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka. On 11 July, Sania and Vesnina are in the final of a grand slam once again, but this time, both will be on opposite sides of the court, as they, with their respective partners, Martina Hingis and Ekaterina Makarova, fight it out for the coveted Wimbledon crown.

Partnership with Vesnina in 2011 and 2012

Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina had a relatively successful doubles partnership from 2011 to 2012. They won the Indian Wells title in 2011, and after the final appearance in the French Open, reached the semis at Wimbledon. However, further success eluded them, as they fell at the semis in the 2012 Australian Open, and came second-best in the finals at Dubai and Indian Wells. The pair decided to split up later in 2012, after failing to bag any more titles.

Wins against Vesnina-Makarova with Hingis earlier this year

After teaming up with Martina Hingis, Sania has enjoyed a positive turn in her career, becoming the World number 1 in doubles a few weeks into the partnership. The duo started off with a title win at Indian Wells, and soon followed it up by winning the Miami Open. Their opponents in both the finals were the duo of Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova. Sania-Hingis won both finals in straight sets, and going into the final at the All England Club, their two wins earlier this year will make them the overwhelming favourites to lift the title.

First published: 9 August 2015, 11:28 IST