Playing just their second tournament together, second seeds Sania Mirza and Shuai Zhang lifted the WTA 500 Ostrava Open beating the third seeds Christian(USA)/Routliffe(NZ) 6-3 6-2 in the final. This is Mirza’s 43rd WTA title and her second title post-maternity break. This win also ensured that Mirza breaks back into the top-75 in the WTA rankings and she overtakes Ankita Raina as the Indian No.1 in doubles.

Indian Tennis Daily spoke to her after her win in Ostrava.

Q) This is your 43rd WTA title and 2nd one after a maternity break. How special is this title to you? Can you share your thoughts about the match and the great week that you have had?

Sania: Obviously it’s very special. It’s a great feeling to come back and win titles, especially after having a kid. I started feeling better as the week progressed and I felt I got back into my rhythm. It’s been a start-stop for me. I won in Hobart for one week and then got injured, then came after COVID. This is the first time I have played four tournaments together. I love playing in big matches and match practice makes a big deal of difference [to your form]. I felt confident as the tournament progressed.

Photo Credits – PERINVEST / Pavel Lebeda (sport-pics.cz) / J & T Banka Ostrava Open

Q) A few words about your partner Zhang and the camaraderie you share?

Sania: I know Shuai for a long time. We have played against each other a lot in singles and in doubles. We played against each other in Cleveland a few weeks back. We have always wanted to play together but it never really fell in place. Either she was unavailable or I was. We played together in Luxembourg last week and we played really well together. We lost against the pair who went on to win the title and we played a very good match.

Photo Credits – PERINVEST / Pavel Lebeda (sport-pics.cz) / J & T Banka Ostrava Open

Q) Will we see more of the Indo-China express after Indian Wells? You mentioned that you will be playing together till Indian Wells?

Sania: We have committed to playing four tournaments for now. Let us see where it goes.

Q) You are back in the top-75 in the WTA rankings and you are back as the Indian no. 1. Your thoughts?

Sania: I never actually keep track of rankings. I feel that when you play well, rankings automatically follow. I wasn’t aware that I’m back in top-75. Tennis is that way. You a winner one day and a loser the next. As tennis players, we have to pick keep traveling and keep moving on and try to do our best and rankings will take care of itself.

Q) Plans for the offseason?

Sania: I haven’t thought that far ahead. For now, I need to see my son. I’m traveling to Chicago tomorrow in the morning. I’m taking things as it goes.

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