Hobart International 2020: Sania Mirza clinches title, completes stunning comeback
- The Indian tennis ace has warmed up to the Australian Open in style.
What's the story?
Sania Mirza and her Ukranian partner Nadiia Kichenok defeated second-seeded Chinese duo of Shuai Peng and Shuai Zhang in the women's doubles final of Hobart International 2020 that saw the Indian tennis player clinch her first title of the new year.
The ace Indan shuttler made a stunning comeback in the professional tennis circuit after a 27-month hiatus, as she was on a maternity break after the birth of her son Izhaan.
The Indo-Ukranian pair kickstarted their campaign by defeating Miyu Kato and Oksana Kalashnikova in a well-contested battle in the first round. They then got the better of Christina McHale and Vania King of America in the quarterfinal before defeating the Czech-Slovenian duo of Marie Bouzková and Tamara Zidanšek 7-6(3) 6-2 in a 1 hour 24-minute semifinal.
The heart of the matter
Sania and Nadiia triumphed after defeating Shuai Peng and Shuai Zhang 6-4 6-4 in the final encounter which lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes. With this win, the former World No.1 doubles player picked up her 42nd WTA doubles title.
They started off well by breaking the Chinese duo in the first game itself but dropped a serve in the very next game. At one stage, the first set was tied at 4-4 but the Indo-Ukranian pair broke once again and eventually sealed the first set.
The second set started off in a similar fashion with Sania and Nadiia breaking the Chinese counterparts in the first game. They took a quick 3-0 lead but Peng and Zhang fought back well to make it 4-4 again.
Eventually, the Indo-Ukranian pair brought out their best by breaking their opponents in the 9th game before eventually serving out the 10th game to seal the deal and clinch the title.
Speaking to PTI after the win, and elated Sania said:
"I honestly thought I would be a bit more rustier than I was. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not as rusty as I thought. But there are things I can improve upon and that is what makes a champion. You always want to get better in what you are doing, no matter how well you do."
Both Sania and Nadiia have earned 280 ranking points each with this triumph.
The 33-year-old Sania could not have asked for a better comeback, as she continues to be an inspiration to the youth of the country. The Indian tennis ace will next be seen playing in the mixed doubles category at the Australian Open with Rohan Bopanna.Published 18 Jan 2020, 20:55 IST