Sania Mirza is having a fantastic return to tennis after the long coronavirus hiatus. In her first tournament in 12 months, Sania Mirza has made the semi-finals in women’s doubles with her Slovenian partner Andreja Klepac. Mirza-Klepac upset the fourth seeds of the Qatar Open to make the last four on Wednesday. It was not only a win over the title contenders but a dominating win. Mirza-Klepac completely outplayed Anna-Blinkova-Gabriela Dabrowski 6-2, 6-0 in just 52 minutes.
Mirza-Klepac were simply more effective in all areas as compared to Blinkova-Dabrowski. Even though the Russian-Canadian pair got more first serves in, they failed to win many points on them. The Mirza-Klepac pair got 62.8 per cent of their first serves in and won 63 per cent of those points. The difference between the second serves of both the teams was even more stark. Blinkova-Dabrowski won only 44.4 per cent of their second serves compared to 62.5 per cent registered by the Indo-Slovenian pair.
Mirza-Klepac were also very sharp on break points and managed to save five of the six break points they face. Blinkova-Dabrowski, however, could save only five of the 11 break points they faced and that proved to be the difference.
The returning game of the Indo-Slovenian pair was also top notch as they won 20 of the 33 first return points while the Russian-Canadian pair won only 37 per cent of their 1st return points. The second return points also worked better for the Mirza-Klepac pair as Blinkova-Dabrowski could win less than 40 per cent of their 2nd return points.
Mirza-Klepac may have an even tougher test waiting for them in the semis as they will face the winner of the quarter-final between the second seeded pair of Nicole Melichar-Demi Schurrs and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jessica Pegula.
In the opening round of the tournament, Mirza-Klepac won 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-5 against Nadiia Kichenok and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine.
Incidentally, Sania had last played at the Doha Open in February 2020 before coronavirus pandemic halted the sport across the world. Sania also recovered from coronavirus in January this year.
Also, it was Nadiia with whom Sania had paired up when she returned to competitive tennis after maternity leave and won the Hobart Open in January 2020.