Hobart: After winning the WTA Hobart International trophy with partner Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine, Sania said that she couldn’t have asked for a better comeback.
The Indo-Ukrainian duo defeated second-seeded China’s Shaui Peng and Shuai Zhang in straight sets 6-4 6-4 in the contest lasting for one hour and 21 minutes.
Speaking after the match, Mirza said that it was a perfect comeback. “It really is a fantastic tournament. This is what happens when you don’t expect anything out of a tournament and I think it teaches us not to put any pressure on ourselves. I came out here to try to get some matches in before getting into Melbourne and I just want to say that I could not have asked for a better comeback,” she expressed.
“Hobart has been special to me in many ways and it’s amazing that it happened here in Hobart and I would like to thank my partner for playing with me,” Sania added.
Thanking her family and team she said: “I can’t say it enough. I could not obviously be here and give everything that I have without my parents and my team. It’s extremely special for me to be here and be here with my baby. I never thought that I would be competing at the very best levels against the very best teams in the world.”
“I feel extremely grateful and privileged. Thank you guys for coming out and supporting, it was a very good atmosphere,” she added.
It was Sania’s 42nd WTA doubles title and the first since the Brisbane International trophy in 2017 with American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The tennis fraternity showered praise on her with Mahesh Bhupathi saying it was an ‘incredible’ start to her road to making a comeback.
“Incredible start to her comeback..she has worked very hard to get match fit and it’s great to see the results come so quick,” Bhupathi said.
Bhupathi and Mirza had won two Grand Slams together before parting ways in 2012. Mirza had won Australian Open (2009) and French Open (2012) with Bhupathi and became the first female player from India to win a Grand Slam when she won the 2009 Australian Open trophy with Bhupathi.
Former Davis Cup captain Jaidip Mukerjea, who has seen Mirza from her early days, said the 33-year old is a ‘fighter’ and this comeback is special.
“I have always seen a fighter in her. It’s not easy to comeback after not playing tennis for two years. What she has done only shows her class and commitment to the sport. I hope she remains injury free and healthy and there are greater things to come for her this year,” he said.