Sania Mirza wins Ostrava Open doubles title, ends 20-month wait for WTA trophy

India’s Sania Mirza and Chinese partner Zhang Shuai beat Kaitlyn Christian and Erin Routliffe 6-3, 6-2 in the final to clinch their first title as a pair.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza bagged her first WTA title in 20 months after winning the Ostrava Open 2021 women’s doubles title with Chinese partner Zhang Shuai in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai beat USA’s Kaitlyn Christian and Erin Routliffe of New Zealand 6-3, 6-2 in the final to claim the title.

Before this, the Indian tennis star’s last WTA title was at the Hobart International in January 2020, where Sania and Ukraine’s Nadiia Kichenok won the women’s doubles event. Zhang Shuai, incidentally, was on the opposite side in the final at Hobart.

Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai, the third seeds at the Ostrava WTA event, looked in charge out of the blocks and kept their opponents on the backfoot throughout the first set. A break point in the sixth game saw the Indo-Chinese pair take a 4-2 lead and ride the advantage to win the opening set.

Looking for a quick response, Kaitlyn Christian and Erin Routliffe, the second seeds, threw caution to the wind early in the second set. Against the experienced Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai, though, the ploy backfired.

Sania Mirza-Zhang Shuai picked their moments well to break the American-Kiwi team in the third and seventh games to clinch the match in straight sets and with it, the title.

The win was also Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai first title as a doubles team. The pair’s maiden team up was at the Luxembourg Open earlier this month, where the duo was ousted in the quarter-finals.

Sania Mirza is a six-time Grand Slam doubles champion while Zhang Shuai recently won her second Grand Slam title at the 2021 US Open, partnering Australia’s Samantha Stosur.