HOBART, Australia - No.5 seeds Sania Mirza and Nadiia Kichenok battled their way into the Hobart International semifinals after taking down all-American duo Vania King and Christina McHale, 6-2, 4-6, [10-4].
It’s a second consecutive victory for the returning Mirza, who is competing in her first tournament since 2017 after taking time off to have her son, Izhaan. He was in the stands for Mirza and Kichenok’s first match in Hobart too, a battle against Oksana Kalashnikova and Miyu Kato, 2-6, 7-6(3), [10-3], to start with a win.
It was just as tough in the quarterfinals, where Mirza and Kichenok faced the unseeded King and McHale. The pair started out in control, breaking early to claim a 3-0 lead, and holding off four break points to stay in control before breaking again to win the set, 6-2.
But the Americans were right back in the hunt in the second, saving three break points before claiming the decisive break at 4-3 to send them into a match tiebreak. There wasn’t much to separate the teams there, staying level through 4-4.
That’s when Mirza and Kichenok pulled away, reeling off the next six points in a row to book their place in the Hobart semifinals after an hour and 24-minute battle.
Also through to the semifinals are Marie Bouzkova and Tamara Zidansek, who fought past Kateryna Bondarenko and Sharon Fichman, 6-3, 3-6, [10-4] to advance. They will take on Mirza and Kichenok next.