Dubai, Feb 18 (IANS) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her French partner Caroline Garcia advanced to the women’s doubles second round at the Dubai Open after a hard-fought first round win on Tuesday.

Sania and Garcia beat Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 to go through to the round of 16 where they will now face China’s Saisai Zheng and Czech Barbora Krejcikova.

Sania had earlier pulled out of the Australian Open in January with a calf injury and the Dubai Open is her first tournament since then. She had initially withdrawn from the mixed doubles event, where she was set to play with compatriot Rohan Bopanna before retiring mid-way through the women’s doubles first round match in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 she, won the Hobart International with women’s doubles partner Nadiia Kichenok. It was Sania’s first tournament after a two-year hiatus from the sport when she had her first child.

–IANS

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