Sania Mirza surprises herself with comeback win

Following a comeback win at the Hobart International, Mirza will look to maintain her momentum at the Australian Open.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

It was two months back, in November 2019, that Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza announced her return to tennis following a two-year maternity break.

That comeback went successfully, as Sania Mirza and partner Nadiia Kichenok made a perfect start to the season ahead of the Australian Open by winning the Hobart International in straight sets. The pair beat the second-seeded Chinese duo of Zhang Shuai and Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Surprising success

For it to go so well was no doubt reassuring for Sania Mirza, given it was her first tournament in 27 months, but her movements on the court belied the fact that she was ever away.

Speaking to PTI, Mirza said, “It's something I did not expect totally, so to say, but I am excited to be able to do this in my first tournament on comeback.”

"I honestly thought I would be a bit rustier than I was. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not as rusty as I thought. But there are things I can improve upon and that is what makes a champion. You always want to get better in what you are doing, no matter how well you do."

Enjoying the game

However, there was not one particular reason the 33-year-old could attribute towards her successful comeback, other than not feeling the weight of expectations, "There is no key, I wish I knew, there was one key to winning. I just enjoyed my game. You have to work hard, play your game. I was playing with a new partner, new year after two-and-a-half years. There was no pressure and no expectations."

Mirza's maternal momentum

Sania Mirza follows in the footsteps of fellow tennis players Serena Williams and Evgeniya Rodina as women who returned to the court after attaining motherhood. Like Sania Mirza, Serena Williams too was competitive out of the gates after giving birth to daughter Olympia.

Speaking about her body having changed after giving birth to son Izhaan, Sania Mirza said, "The body is a lot different now. It recovers differently. But recovery has not changed so much, it's similar."

Aside from that, Sania Mirza has also been nursing a calf injury she suffered in December.

What’s next for Sania Mirza?

Sania Mirza will once again team up with Kichenok in the Australian Open women’s mixed doubles and the pair will take on the Chinese duo of Han Xinyun and Zhu Lin in the first round on Wednesday, January 22.

She is also set to play the Australian Open mixed doubles with compatriot Rohan Bopanna. Her first choice was Rajeev Ram, who had to back out due to health reasons.

The Australian Open matches will be telecast on the Sony Ten 2 and Sony Six channels as well as on the Sony Liv app.