Sania Mirza opened her new season on the WTA circuit in style by upsetting fourth seed Russian Maria Kirilenko in the first round of the Hobart International tennis tournament on Monday.
The wildcard Indian scored 6-4, 6-4 win over her higher-rated opponent, who is ranked 29th in the world, at the $ 145,000 hardcourt event being played in build up to the Australian Open, year's first Grand Slam.
The 66th ranked Sania will next play Romina Oprandi of Italy, who pulled off a 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 win against Elena Likhovtseva of Russia in their first round match.
Sania will team up with Alicia Molik of Australia in the doubles event, where the duo will play Ukrainian pair of Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko.
The Tier IV tournament also saw Serena William returning to action to warm up for the Australian Open beginning on January 15.
The American will play Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden in her first round encounter.