ROME, Italy - Co-No.1s Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza find themselves in pole position to complete the Santina Slam at the French Open with a 6-1, 6-7(5), 10-3 win over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina to capture the Internazionali BNL d'Italia title - their first title since February and their first ever on red clay.
Hingis and Mirza were in their third straight final since the start of the clay court swing, falling both times to the streaking Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in both the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and Mutua Madrid Open. Across the net on Sunday were familiar foes in Makarova and Vesnina, who were playing just their second tournament together since last summer, having briefly split as the former healed a leg injury.
Winners of the last three major titles - and the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global - Santina exploited that ostensible rust early on, roaring through the opening set and carving out a 5-3 lead in the second.
? Internazionali Bnl (@InteBNLdItalia) May 15, 2016
But the Russians had nearly won their most recent encounter at last year's Wimbledon final, and wouldn't accept defeat so easily, quickly leveling the set and later the match in a tie-break.
Hingis and Mirza shook off the hiccup to beat back their opponents and a gloomy forecast to capture their 14th title as a pair, and their fifth of 2016.
Heading into the French Open on a four-match winning streak, Santina next look to complete a box set of Grand Slam titles - a Santina Slam - that began at Wimbledon over Makarova and Vesnina, and took them through victories at the US Open and Australian Open in January.
? TennisTV (@TennisTV) May 15, 2016