Former world no. 1 Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok won the doubles title at the Hobart International on Saturday. The fifth-seeded pair won 6-4, 6-4 against the second-seeded Chinese duo of Shuai Peng and Shuai Zhang.
Mirza was playing in her first tournament since her return to the WTA tour after pregnancy. This is the 33-year-old's 42nd doubles career title while this was the fifth doubles career title for her partner, Kichenok. After their win, during the award ceremony, stating she "couldn't have asked for a better comeback," Mirza added that the key for her this week was not to put pressure on herself.
She also said that she had not entered the draw with the intention of winning but only wanted to get more matches before heading to the Australian Open. Mirza and Kichenok had a tougher route into the finals as compared to Peng and Zhang, who had just the one completed match – their first-round match against Australians Jessica Moore and Astra Sharma – en route to the final.
They received walkovers both in their quarter-final and semi-final matches, against Arantxa Rus and Heather Watson, and Kirsten Flipkens and Alison Van Uytvanck respectively. Mirza and Kichenok, meanwhile, were taken to the distance in their first round and quarter-final clashes, against Oksana Kalashnikova and Miyu Kato, and Vania King and Christina McHale respectively.
This was Zhang's second finalist's trophy for the day. Earlier, she had lost the singles final to Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: Indian Tennis Daily Twitter