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Sania makes winning return to WTA circuit

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Norma Godinho
Last updated on: January 14, 2020 12:00 IST

Making a comeback after a two-year hiatus, she enters women's doubles quarter-finals of Hobart International.

India's Sania Mirza in action during the Hobart International tournament on Tuesday

IMAGE: India's Sania Mirza in action during the Hobart International tournament on Tuesday. Photograph: Kind courtesym, Hobart International/Twitter

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza made a winning return to the WTA circuit by advancing to the women's doubles quarter-finals of the Hobart International Tournament, in Hobart on Tuesday.

Returning to the court after two years, Sania and her Ukrainian partner Nadia Kichenok prevailed 2-6, 7-6 (3), 10-3 over Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia and Japan's Miyu Kato in a contest that lasted an hour and 41 minutes.

 

The Indo-Ukrainian pair will next face Americans Vania King and Christina McHale.

The US combination upstaged fourth-seeded Spainish duo of Georgina Garcia Perez and Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 7-5 in a round of 16 clash.

During her two years away from the game, the 33-year-old Sania battled injury breakdowns before taking a formal break in April 2018 for the birth of her son Izhaan. The Hyderabadi is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.

"Today was one of the most special days of my life. To have my parents and my little baby boy wit me in my first match after so long..and we WON our first round.feel very grateful for the love I am receiving.. BELIEF!! Takes you places YES my baby boy,we did it," she posted on her Twitter page.

In an engaging showdown, Sania and Kichenok weren't off to a particularly good start as they double-faulted twice, failed to convert seven break points and lost their serve two times to go down 2-6 in the opening set.

However, they pulled things back in the second set, helped by their rivals' inconsistent game.

Both the teams converted three break points each as the set went into a tie-breaker in which Sania and Kichenok nosed ahead to draw even.

Sania and Kichenok raised the bar in the final set and displayed superior returns to emerge triumphant.

The 33-year-old had last played at the China Open in October 2017.

A trailblazer in Indian tennis, Sania is a former world No.1 in doubles and has six Grand Slam titles to her credit.

She retired from the singles competition in 2013 after becoming the most successful Indian woman tennis player ever.

In 2007, she attained a career-high rank of 27 in the WTA singles chart.

However, she has also been hampered by career-threatening wrist and knee injuries. 

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Norma Godinho© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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