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December 2005 - January 2006

India Sport Scene

Tennis: Sania Mirza

by Ramesh Seedhar

The Masters Cup is supposed to be the year-end celebration for the best in Men’s tennis.
However the sports exhausting calendar appears to have a lot of damage. This year it was being held in China to raise the profile of tennis there, but unfortunately, the long season has taken its toll. Only Roger Federer remains the player that has any global following and even he is not fully fit. Of the original eight, Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi withdrew through injury. With Martin Safin, Leyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick having already pulled out, it is no longer the show piece that it was supposed to be.

Sania Mirza: a year of satisfaction.

The year however has been sensational for the Indian star Sania Mirza. Sania, a trailblazer of women’s tennis in India, was pleased with her quarterfinal win .in Japan. After disappointing performances in her last two tournaments, India’s teen tennis sensation Sania Mirza returned to the court at the Japan Open in Tokyo

Sania lost in the first round at the Bali Open early last month and went down in the second round match at the Sun feast Open at Kolkata. However, those early defeats were a blessing in disguise. They gave Sania a well-deserved break after a hectic season during which she created history by catapulting into the fourth round at US Open

The sensational Sania Mirza upset top seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia in a thrilling three-setter to storm into the semi-finals of the $170,000 AIG Japan Open Tennis Championship. Seeded eight in this Tier III event, Sania fought her way back after conceding the first set to carve out a 5-7 6-2 6-4 win against the 22-ranked Russian in 2 hours 28 minutes. Sania broke Zvonareva twice in the opening set, but each time surrendered the advantage on her own serve before hitting an easy overhead into the net at 30-40 in the 12th game to lose the set. However, she rallied in the second and third sets, firing her forehands on both sides of the court for a series of winners and never allowing Zvonareva to go up.

The win placed Sania Mirza 37th on the WTA rankings, quite sensational for a girl whose WTA ranking this time last year was around 130 and gone beyond her stated ambition of breaking into the top 50.

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