Former doubles world no.1 Sania Mirza makes a winning return to tennis following a two-year maternity break.
Ahead of the Australian Open, the Indian, whose return was highly anticipated, paired up with Nadiia Kichenok for her first appearance on the WTA tour in two years at the Hobart International.
The duo defeated the pairing of Oksana Kalashnikova and Miyu Kato in the round of 16 in a match that lasted 1 hour and 41 minutes moving into the quarterfinals. Mirza and Kichenok lost the first set but ultimately prevailed 2-6, 7-6 (3), 10-3.
The pair will now face the American duo of Vania King and Christina McHale to secure a semi-finals berth for themselves. King and McHale showed brilliant form as they defeated fourth-seeded duo Georgina Garcia Perez and Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets and will prove to be tough competitors for the progression of the Indo-Ukranian team in the tournament.
Mirza was delighted about their victory and tweeted with a photo with her son:
“Today was one of the most special days of my life. To have my parents and my little baby boy with me in my first match after so long..and we WON our first round.”
One of the biggest names in tennis, Mirza won six Grand Slam titles with her last one in 2015 at Wimbledon with Martina Hingis.
The first Indian player to achieve the doubles no.1 ranking since Leander Paes, Mirza will now face the first Grand Slam of the season with Rohan Bopanna. Mirza was initially paired with Rajeev Ram, however, his tussle with injury forced him to pull out. With the major and the Olympic Games set to commence this year, Mirza has the possibility of making a brilliant return, with her current play indicative of one.