Hobart International 2020: Sania Mirza's winning return continues, storms into semi-finals with Nadiia Kichenok
What's the story?
Sania Mirza's return to the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) circuit continued with another win. Mirza and her Ukranian partner, Nadiia Kichenok made their way to the semi-finals of the Hobart International 2020 in the Women's doubles category.
Indian tennis star Mirza had been out of action for two years - on a maternity break - after the birth of her son Izhaan. Her previous outing was at the China Open way back in October 2017.
The Hobart International 2020 is her comeback tournament and she made a stellar return.
Earlier on January 14, Mirza and Kichenok had defeated the doubles pair of Miyu Kato and Oksana Kalashnikova 2-6, 7-6(3), 10-3 in a well-contested Round of 16 match. Mirza and partner thereby progressed to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The heart of the Matter
The 33-year-old tennis ace continued her winning ways in the quarterfinal match. Sania-Nadiia faced the American duo of Christina McHale and Vania King.
Mirza and her partner took the lead early on, but their opponents showed great resilience to make a comeback. The fifth seed Indo-Ukranian duo put up a fantastic performance after the match was tied at 1-1.
Eventually, Sania and Kichenok defeated the American duo 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 to make their way into the last 4.
They will now lock horns with the Czech-Slovenian duo of Marie Bouzková and Tamara Zidanšek in the all-important semifinal match on January 17. Marie and Tamara had defeated Cornelia Lister and Sabrina Santamaria 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 in their Round of 16 match. They also defeated the pair of Kateryna Bondarenko and Sharon Fichman 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 in their quarterfinal encounter.
The former World No.1 is aiming to ensure a spot for herself at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Mirza will also be playing the upcoming Australian Open, for which she partners with Rohan Bopanna.
With both the ace Indian tennis players eyeing a berth for the quadrennial extravaganza starting in July this year, a few good wins will make them the front-runners. Mirza's last Grand Slam win was with Martina Hingis at Wimbledon 2015, and she would desperately be hoping for another big triumph.