Doha (Qatar), Mar 2: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza made a winning return to the WTA circuit as she along with her partner Andreja Klepac of Slovenia entered the quarterfinals of the Qatar Total Open.
The Indo-Slovenian pair won 6-4 6-7(5) 10-5 against Nadiia Kichenok and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine in the opening round of the WTA 500 tournament. This match, however, turned out to be her first match after 12 months time and co-incidentally, this Qatar Open was the last tournament she played last year when all competitions were put to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was Nadiia with whom Sania had paired when she returned to competitive tennis after maternity leave and won the Hobart Open in January 2020. Speaking of the match, an early break put Sania and Klepac down 0-3 and struggling at deuce in the fourth game but they managed to hold on, getting on board.
The Indo-Slovenian pair needed just one break to get back on serve and they got that in the seventh game, breaking the Kichenok sisters at love in the seventh. With an easy hold, they were 4-all and pocketed the set with another break.
The Ukrainians again were in the lead in the second set for a 3-1 lead but Sania and Klepac fought hard to drag it to the tie-breaker but could not stop the rivals from pushing the contest to a Super Tie Breaker. The duo raced to a 5-1 lead in a jiffy and closed the match, converting the second match point.