INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Former doubles No.1 Martina Hingis seems to be hitting her stride with new partner Chan Yung-Jan; together the No.6 seeds ousted Hingis' former partner Sania Mirza and fellow No.4 seed Barbora Strycova, 6-4, 6-4, to reach the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open.
"It's great," Hingis said after the match. "It's only our third tournament together, and I feel like we're getting better with each match. The confidence and trust between us is growing, and I think that's the most important thing to win matches today and in the future.
"We're going in the right direction."
Hingis paired up with Chan at the start of the Middle East Swing, reaching the semifinals of the Qatar Total Open and the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Taking on Mirza and Strycova for the first time since switching partners, Hingis overcame tough opposition with the Taiwanese star by her side, ousting their higher-seeded opponents in just over an hour and 20 minutes.
"Definitely today's match wasn't easy," Chan added. "Those two players are great, and they're top players. We kept staying strong and staying together. Even though we're a new team, we were able to make everything work. I think it's been pretty good so far. We're looking forward to our upcoming matches."
? ????YungJan Chan (@YungJan_Chan) March 15, 2017
Chan formerly served as stiff competition to both Hingis and Mirza when she played with sister Chan Hao-Ching, winning the last match against the team formerly known as Santina before they went on a 41-match winning streak from the end of 2015 to the beginning of 2016, playing quite a few tough matches against the pair in between.
"We know each other from playing against each other, like every single week!" she joked. "We've been practicing and spending a lot of time together, on court and off, using WhatsApp. I think it's working."
Up next for the No.6 seeds will be the winner of an interesting quarterfinal between top seeds and reigning Australian Open champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova and the unseeded and looming pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Mladenovic is playing her first event with her new partner since splitting with co-French Open champion Caroline Garcia after Dubai.
Mattek-Sands and Safarova could wrest the top spot on the Road to Singapore leaderboard from current No.1s Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai by beating Mladenovic and Kuznetsova. If they don't reach the final, No.2 seed and Olympic Gold medalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina could get to No.1 if they win the title.