Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza made a winning return to the professional tennis circuit as she clinched her first tournament after childbirth. Partnering Ukranian Nadiia Kichenok, the duo defeated the Chinese pair of S Zhang and S Peng in the women’s doubles finals in the Hobart International 6-4, 6-4 to kick start the year on a triumphant note.
Sania and Kichenok were hardly troubled in the summit clash, as they took the game without breaking into much of a sweat. The Indian now gears up for the Australian Open, where she will team up with Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles category. She was expected to play the Grand Slam with American Rajeev Ram, who has, since, pulled out of the tournament.
This would also be the first time that Mirza and Bopanna would be playing mixed doubles together since they teamed up in the Rio Olympics 2016, where they had finished fourth.
Mirza, who had emerged as an inspiration to young girls in India when she forayed into the competitive world of tennis and started returning with impressive results that even saw her clinch the world number 1 ranking in the doubles circuit, had taken a break when she was at the peak of her career to have a child. Her son Izhaan was born to Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in 2018, after which the tennis star spent another year getting fit to return to the professional world.
Her fitness regime, her inspiring videos on Instagram, where she is committed to losing weight and not getting bogged down, have been a hit, and with this win, Mirza has also sent out another vocal message to the youth in India. She stands as an icon of strength, one who has not been afraid to take on the naysayers, proving them wrong with results on the field.