Sania Mirza marked her return to the WTA Tour with a win on Tuesday in the 2021 WTA Qatar Open. Partnered with Andreja Klepac, the duo beat the pair of Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiia Kichenok 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-5.
First win for Mirza in over a year
Mirza returned to professional tennis in January 2020 following a two-year hiatus. She took her season to a winning start with Nadiia Kichenok as the duo won Hobart International.
However, her form took a slight drop in the subsequent tournaments and with the pandemic, Mirza spent most of the last season away from the tour.
Coincidentally, her last WTA game was in Qatar itself in late February where she lost in the first round with Caroline Garcia.
As a former doubles World No. 1, Mirza has an incredible pedigree comprising 42 doubles titles and 3 majors. Mirza will look to win the title in Doha and get some momentum under her belt as the tour pics up traction.
Keys topples Bencic
Meanwhile, in the singles half of Qatar Open, Madison Keys dispatched the Swiss No. 1 Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1 in a little over an hour. The American, playing in her first professional game since the French Open last year, will now face Maria Sakkari in the second round.
Keys, currently ranked World No. 19, is hunting for her first title since the 2019 Cincinnati Open.
Other big names like Angelique Kerber, Garbine Mugurza, and Victoria Azarenka also got through to the second round.
At the same time, there were a few upsets in the first round, most notably of Kiki Bertens who surprisingly lost to Jelena Ostapenko 6-0, 6-2.