Hobart: On her first tournament back after a two-year break, Sania Mirza lifted the WTA Hobart International trophy with Ukranian partner Nadiia Kichenok after edging out Shaui Peng and Shuai Zhang in the final, here on Saturday.
The unseeded Indo-Ukrainian pair pipped the second seed Chinese team 6-4 6-4 in one hour 21 minutes.
It is Sania's 42nd WTA doubles title and the first since the Brisbane International in 2007, which she won with American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and it was far from her most straightforward one.
Sania and Nadiia began by breaking the Chinese players in the very first game of the match, before dropping serve in the next. The two teams played close games through till at 4-4, 40-all, Sania and Nadiia got the crucial break, earning the opportunity to serve out the set. Which they did comfortably.
The second set could not have started better for them as they broke the Chinese rivals to take an early lead and consolidated the break with an easy hold. The Chinese dropped serve again in the third but broke back immediately to repair some damage. At that point, Sania and Nadiia were feeling the heat at 0-30 in the sixth game but Peng and Zhang let them hold serve for a 4-2 lead. The Chinese, though, kept fighting and made it 4-4 with another break in the eighth game. The Indo-Ukraine team raised their game when it mattered and broke Peng and Zhang for one final time in the ninth and served out the match in the next game.
They received a combined total of USD 13580 as prize money and eared 280 ranking points each for their winning effort.