Sania Mirza wins in WTA Tour return after more than 2 years


Indian tennis player Sania Mirza has won her first doubles match since returning to the WTA Tour following the birth of her son with cricketer Shoaib Malik.

Mirza and Nadiia Kichenok beat Oksana Kalashnikova and Miyu Kato 2-6, 7-6 (3), (10-3) on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals at the Hobart International.

The unseeded duo will face the American pair of Christina McHale and Vania King in the next round.

Taking to Twitter, Mirza said: “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 […] BELIEF! Takes you places.”

The 33-year-old Mirza is playing at her first tournament since the China Open in October 2017 and is using a protected ranking.

She plans to play at the Australian Open, which starts next Monday.

Indian media has reported she will play mixed doubles with fellow Indian doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna.

It will be Mirza’s first Grand Slam tournament since the birth of her son, Izhaan, in Oct 2018.

In singles play on Tuesday at the Hobart International, fourth-seeded Zhang Shuai beat Kirsten Flipkens 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Lizette Cabrera defeated eighth-seeded Caroline Garcia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, Catherine Bellis beat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 and Alize Cornet defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.

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