California: Sania Mirza and her American partner Elena Vesnina clinched their first title in just their third WTA event as a team, lifting the BNP Paribas Open women's double trophy after upstaging Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy here. Sania and Vesnina beat eighth seeds Mattek-Sands and Shaughnessy 6-0 7-5.
Mirza and Vesnina, who were quarterfinalists at Dubai and Doha in February, were unseeded here but they lost just 19 games in their first four matches, including a surprise 6-2 6-3 upset over seventh seeds Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
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 Sania and Vesnina then notched up six straight games to lift the trophy on center 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.
Sania and Vesnina have been 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 was Sania's 10th WTA doubles title, 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).