September 21, 2023

Open Court



It’s been awhile. Welcome back, Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina.

The two women are returning to competition in doubles this week in Doha.

Mirza, now 34, is a former No. 1 in doubles (and No. 27 in singles) who has 42 career titles in doubles.

Her current doubles ranking of No. 252 comes from a brief return a year ago. Mirza played Hobart, the Australian Open, Doha and Dubai (which are in her back yard), but did not return after the pandemic break.

She and Nadiia Kichenok won Hobart, which was her first match back since late 2017.

Mirza was entered in the Abu Dhabi season-opening event with Andreja Klepac of Slovenia. But she did not play.

The two are teaming up again this week. Their first opponents will be … Nadiia and Lyudmyla Kichenok.

Mirza and Vesnina teamed up together a decade ago, in 2011 and part of 2012. They reached the finals at Dubai and Indian Wells in 2012 and the 2011 French Open final. They also, a decade ago, won Indian Wells and Charleston together. They probably should have re-teamed for auld lang syne!

Vesnina another returnee in Doha

Vesnina back, with husband and daughter Elisabeth in tow, is also 34.

Her career high in singles was No. 13, with her most noteworthy title Indian Wells in 2017.

She’s also a former No. 1 in doubles, with 18 career titles.

Vesnina’s last tournament was the 2018 French Open.

She will team up with Laura Siegemund. Their first-round opponents are the class pick-up team of Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina.

According to the WTA website, Vesnina also is planning to play singles next week in Dubai.

Her doubles protected ranking is No. 1, which is where she stood back in 2018 when she played her last event – until this week.

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