Playing her first tournament post marriage with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza on Monday made an impressive return to the courts, beating Chan Yung-Jan of Chinese Taipei in straight sets in the first round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.
Sania, ranked 91st in the world and a semifinalist here last year, defeated the 83rd ranked Yung-Jan 6-1, 6-4 to set up a second round clash against 14th seed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand in the USD 220,000 event.
Tanasugarn made light work on American Lilia Osterloh 6-2, 6-2 in another first round encounter.
Mirza hardly put a foot wrong today and connected the ball so well that it was hard to believe that she stepped on to the court after a hiatus of three months.
The 23-year-old Hyderabadi's powerful forehand was at her immaculate best as she scored numerous winners on the soft grass surface.
Sania said her personal life can never become a distraction in her game but hinted that she will quit the sport after two years to give more time to her family life.
"The distance between us (Shoaib and herself) is difficult. But we will be together for life hopefully, so two years isn't long," Sania said after the match.
"Marriage is something which happens to everyone at some point. It's just if you want to wait to finish your career or to get married now. For me, marriage is personal and tennis is professional. It's two separate things so it doesn't feel like a distraction," she said.
"I was just happy to be competing and happy to be out there and feeling healthy. When you come back after a long time and have a win it's good for your confidence," added Sania.