Indian tennis star Sania Mirza along with her French partner Caroline Garcia fought tooth and nail to enter into the second round of women’s doubles at the Dubai Open on Tuesday.

The Sania-Garcia duo inched past Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 to face China’s Saisai Zheng and Czech Barbora Krejcikova in the round of 16. It is worth noting that the China-Czech pair were seeded fifth.

In January, Sania had pulled out of the Australian Open with a calf injury. She had initially withdrawn from the mixed doubles event, where she was set to play with compatriot Rohan Bopanna before retiring mid-way through the women’s doubles first round match in Melbourne.

Before that the ace Indian player had won the Hobart International with women’s doubles partner Nadiia Kichenok in the same month. It was Sania’s first tournament after a two-year hiatus from the sport. The initial phase included injuries and then the later saw her welcoming a son in October 2018.

Prior to her return in the international circuit after a two-year break, the Indian star had last won a trophy alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Brisbane International in the first week of the 2017 season, one of three doubles finals she reached that year before announcing her pregnancy in April of 2018.

The former world number 1 won the Australian Open doubles title in 2016 following a successful 2015 season in which she claimed the Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles, all paired with Martina Hingis.

(With inputs from IANS)