Mattek-Sands takes No. 1 ranking from Mirza—with Mirza's help

by: Kamakshi Tandon January 11, 2017

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza defeated Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-2, 6-3, in the Brisbane final. (AP)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands is finally ranked No. 1, even though she had to displace her doubles partner to get there.

By winning the doubles title in Sydney with Sania Mirza, Mattek-Sands moved in front of Mirza to take the top spot in the women's doubles ranking.

"Being No. 1 is something you think of when you're a little kid,” she told the WTA’s website. “When you finally get there, it takes a little bit to sink in.”

The 31-year-old reached the championship match at the WTA Finals this past fall, where she and partner Lucie Safarova fell to Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in the final. But with Mirza’s help, Mattek-Sands got her turn at No. 1 as she and Mirza defeated Vesnina and Makarova in the final of the Brisbane International.

The teammates once played together regularly, and are good friends despite their recent rankings rivalry.

"Now I feel like I'm handing over the Miss World trophy," Mirza told the Australian crowd. "If not me, then her." 

Mattek-Sands currently plays most of her tournaments with doubles partner Lucie Safarova.

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