Sania-Vesnina win Indian Wells doubles
Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina of Russia clinched their first title in just their third WTA event as a team, lifting the BNP Paribas Open women's doubles trophy after upstaging Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy.
Sania and Vesnina beat eighth seeds Mattek-Sands and Shaughnessy 6-0, 7-5 in the final.
Mirza and Vesnina, who were quarter-finalists at Dubai and Doha in February, were unseeded in this Indian Wells event but lost just 19 games in their first four matches, and scored a surprise 6-2, 6-3 upset over seventh seeds Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
Image: Elena Vesnina (L) and Sania Mirza pose with the trophy
Photographs: Getty Images
'From our first match it was already a team'
Sania and Vesnina won the first set in just 25 minutes.
The Americans came back in the second set taking a 5-1 lead, but the Indo-Russian pair then won six straight games to emerge triumphant on centre court.
"We weren't even supposed to play here, because initially I wasn't going to play Indian Wells. Now we're planning to play the rest of the year," Sania said.
"We tried playing together in Dubai and Doha and it worked fine. From our first match you could see it was already a team. It really works," Vesnina added.
Image: Sania and Elena hug each other after clinching victory
'I'm Indian; doubles comes more naturally to me'
Sania and Vesnina were among the top-30 in singles.
"It improves certain areas of your game you don't use in singles," Sania said.
"People who do better in doubles, they go into singles and go to net and use certain serves more. It has always helped me -- I guess I'm Indian, doubles comes more naturally to me!" she added.
This is Sania's 10th WTA doubles title, while Vesnina picked up her fourth.
Mattek-Sands and Shaughnessy, who had upset third seeds Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova en route to the final, were playing their fourth WTA doubles final as a team and now have a 1-3 record in those (winning in Paris this year).
Image: Sania and Elena are congratulated at the net by Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy