Sania Mirza, Christina McHale enter final at Cleveland Championships tennis

The Indo-American pair beat Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri and USA’s Catherine Harrison in the semis. They face Japanese top seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in the final.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Lauren Bacho/ Getty Images

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her American partner Christina McHale stormed into the final of the women’s doubles event at the Cleveland Championships WTA event on Friday night.

Sania Mirza-Christina McHale beat Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri and Catherine Harrison of the USA 7-5 (5), 6-2 in the semi-finals. The Indo-American pair will face the top seeds, Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan, for the title.

In the semi-final clash, Sania Mirza and Christina McHale were broken in the very first game of the first set. The Indo-American pair, however, bounced right back with breaks of their own in the fourth and sixth game. 

Ulrikke Eikeri and Catherine Harrison managed to break their opponents in the ninth game to push the opening set into a tie-breaker.

The Indo-American pair banked on Sania Mirza’s experience as they won about 70 per cent of the first serves and put their opponents under pressure with some good returns. They won the tie-breaker 7-5 and took a 1-0 lead in the match. 

The second set saw Sania Mirza and Christina McHale grow in confidence as they hardly allowed their opponents any time to settle in. The duo raced to a comfortable 6-2 win and booked their place in the final. 

Sania Mirza, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, was back on the WTA Tour at the Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati last week.

The Indian, partnering Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, lost to Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova and Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-2 in the opening round.