Sania and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis were seeded top but were pushed to the brink by second-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina before prevailing 5-7 7-6 (4) 7-5 in a thrilling final here.
“There is this thing about being an inspiration for others but obviously I am not thinking about all that. I play and I want to win because that’s what you play for. But I hope it inspires other girls to win,” Sania said in the post-match press conference.
Faced with opponents who had them running for cover with a fierce serve all through, Sania and Hingis said sheer belief pulled them through.
“For a match like this, the No.1 and No.2 seeds playing, it was the best match you could have asked for for the tournament. It was unbelievably exciting. It was exciting to play. I really hope it was exciting to watch, too,” Sania said.
“Even when we were down, we knew we were giving everything we had on the court. These are the moments we worked years and years and all our lives for. This is what we play for. We feel really honoured to have won that match really,” she added.
Sania said though she and Hingis were doing the catching up for most part, they did have their chances all through.
“We had chances every game. I don’t know why, we both believed. Even at 2-5, we didn’t feel like we were down and out of the match. It was about one break, and it really was,” Sania said.
“All we said to each other was, ‘Make them win the match.
Let them win the match,’ not for us to lose the match, which means we had to put the ball inside the court, do the right things. If they still come out, serving unbelievable the whole match, we knew that at some point hopefully it was going to come down. If it didn’t, you say, ‘Too good,’ shake hands,” she added.
Hingis, on her part, said they occasionally waited for the fortunes to favour them as the Russians were serving just too well.
“Sixty-four miles an hour match point second serve, it was like, ‘OK, praying for it.’ I’m like, ‘Watch out [Sania], don’t get killed.’ She (Vesnina) missed it thankfully. At 40-love, you just hope for putting the balls in and make it happen,” she said.