Bangkok:Sania Mirza returned to the court to save India from demotion as India beat Hong Kong 2-1 in the Federation Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I relegation play-off on Saturday.
The World number 29, who did not play any of India's Pool A matches due to leg injury, finally took the field in the deciding doubles after the tie was locked 1-1.
Pairing with Sunitha Rao, Sania was instrumental in downing the Hong Kong pair of Yang Zi-jun and Zhang Ling 7-6, 6-2 to ensure that India finish seventh in the eight-team Group I and remain in the same group next year.
Earlier, Shikha Uberoi had helped India to a 1-0 lead with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Yang Zi-jun but Isha Lakhani lost to Zhang Ling in the second rubber before the Sania-Sunitha rescue act.
India had lost to Indonesia (1-2), New Zealand (1-2) and Australia (0-3) in the earlier matches of Pool A league.
Hong Kong are relegated to Group II next year while Uzbekistan, who beat New Zealand 2-1 in the battle between pool toppers, were promoted to world group II.