20 Jun, 2016 - The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that reigning WTA Finals champions and world No.1 doubles team Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza have qualified for this year’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The collaboration between Hingis and Mirza began at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where they achieved instant success by taking the title and eight more by the end of the year, including the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. This year, Hingis and Mirza have already claimed five titles – Brisbane International, Apia International Sydney, Australian Open, St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia - Rome. As a result, the Swiss-Indian duo, also known as “SanTina,” will attempt to defend their title in Singapore in their second appearance as a team.
“Congratulations to Martina and Sania, who will have the chance to defend their title at the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global,” said WTA CEO Steve Simon. “The fact that they have secured qualification this early is a testament to their remarkable success on-court. Martina and Sania will surely go down in history as two of the game’s greats, and I’m sure the fans watching in Singapore and those following the action from around the globe will be thrilled to see them compete against tennis’ top teams once again.”
Outside of their partnership, both Hingis and Mirza have achieved success at the WTA Finals. Hingis, who holds 43 WTA singles titles and 55 WTA doubles titles, will return to the WTA Finals as a two-time singles champion (1998, 2000) and three-time doubles champion (1999 and 2000 w/Anna Kournikova, 2015 w/Mirza). The Swiss Hall of Famer previously participated in the WTA Finals seven times, competing in both singles and doubles from 1996-2000, qualifying for the season finale in 2006 in singles and again in doubles in 2015. Mirza is the fifth different partner Hingis will compete with at the WTA Finals (Helena Sukova, 1996; Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, 1997; Jana Novotna, 1998; and Kournikova, 1999-2000).
Mirza, who has earned 37 WTA doubles titles and one WTA singles title, will return to Singapore as the two-time defending champion, having won the doubles title with Cara Black in 2014 and Hingis in 2015.
“Qualifying for the WTA Finals for the second year in a row with Sania is very exciting,” said Hingis, three-time WTA Finals doubles champion. “We enjoyed every moment in Singapore last year and hope to defend our title amongst the best doubles teams in the world.”
Mirza added, “Being able to achieve such great success together has been a dream come true. Having won the WTA Finals in Singapore last year as well as multiple tournaments in such a short period of time has been an unbelievable experience. I’m very much looking forward to competing in Singapore once again to try to make it three titles in a row.”
Tournament Director of the WTA Finals and Vice President of WTA Asia-Pacific, Melissa Pine, shared,”The SanTina team was extremely popular amongst the fans last year in Singapore so I am excited to welcome them back. They not only thrilled spectators with their performance on court but also engaged in fan activities off the court which gave those involved an experience I believe they will never forget.”
Friday, July 15, will mark the start of the 100 day countdown to the WTA Finals with the current Road to Singapore Leaderboard as follows (as of Monday, June 20):
|Martina Hingis (SUI) / SaniaMirza (IND)|
|Caroline Garcia (FRA) / Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)|
|Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) / Lucie Hradecka(CZE)|
|Chan Hao-Ching (TPE) / Chan Yung-Jan(TPE)|
|Xu Yifan (CHN) / Zheng Saisai (CHN)|
|Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) / Elena Vesnina (RUS)|
|Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP)|
|Julia Goerges (GER) / Karolina Pliskova (CZE)|
|Vania King (USA) / Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS)|
|Timea Babos (HUN) / Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)|
The Road to Singapore Leaderboard is updated each Monday (every two weeks during Grand Slam events) and can be found at www.wtatennis.com.
The doubles competition will begin October 27 and is a single elimination contest between the top 8 doubles teams of the 20016 season, all vying to hold the Martina Navratilova doubles trophy. Total prize money for doubles stands at $1.4 million with the champion team taking home up to $500,000.
The WTA Finals made its record-breaking debut in Asia-Pacific in 2014 and has seen continual growth each year. In 2015, the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global was attended by more than 130,000 fans representing 51 countries and was viewed by over 32.5 million households worldwide over the 10-day festival of sport and entertainment.
An exciting Family Day along with new ticket packages have been introduced in 2016 to further enhance the fan experience, offering engaging activities both on and off the court. Passes and packages are now available on the WTA Finals website at www.WTAFinals.com, with single session tickets due to go on sale July 15. For the latest updates and insights, follow Twitter (@WTAFinalsSG), Facebook (facebook.com/WTAFinalsSG) and Instagram (@WTAFinalsSG).