Monday, September 17, 2007

No Sania for Sunfeast, Sunitha best hope

The Sunfeast Open in Kolkata has been hit hard by the withdrawal of Sania Mirza. The 20-year-old Indian was laid low by a wrist injury and will not be playing for a while. Mirza's ranking of 27, her career best, may also take a beating in the coming weeks.

As for the Tier III WTA event, Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli (rank 12), Slovakian beauty Daniela Hantuchova (rank 11) and Russia's Maria Kirilenko (rank 35) will be the top draws for a tournament won by the likes of Anastasia Myskina and Martina Hingis in previous years.

The Indian campaign will be led by Sunitha Rao (rank 211) who had been due to face Mirza in the first round. Rao will now battle lucky loser Sandy Gumulya of Indonesia.

The 21-year-old Rao was bundled out in the third round of the US Open qualifiers and has also lost her only match since - a qualifier at Bali. But Gumulya (rank 316) should not pose much of a problem for her.

In first round action at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Monday, qualifier Neha Uberoi was routed 6-2, 6-2 by Kirilenko. Uberoi, playing for the US, could not display the form she showed beating Rushmi Chakravarthi in straight sets on Sunday.

Against Kirilenko, Uberoi was done in by five doublefaults in a match which lasted for just over an hour. The world no. 267 broke Kirilenko once in the second set but the Russian retaliated with three breaks of serve for a total of five in the match.

In another match, Indian wildcard Kyla Shroff was blanked 6-0, 6-0 by eighth seed Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei (rank 81). The 14-year-old Shroff may well be India's future but it will certainly take a lot more exposure in international tournaments.

Wildcard Tara Iyer, the only other Indian apart from Rao still in the fray, takes on seventh seed Italy's Flavia Pennetta (rank 69) in her opening match.

Siblings Ankita and Sanaa Bhambri, Isha Lakhani, Shivika Burman and Ashvarya Shrivastava had all fallen by the wayside in the qualifying rounds of the $175,000 hardcourt tournament.

Sania Mirza will not be seen in action even in the doubles event which she had won with Liezel Huber as the top seeds last year. This year, none of the three Indian pairs in the event are seeded. In addition, Sunitha Rao and Tara Iyer are pairing up with foreign players.

No comments:

Post a Comment

For everything ever written on The Indian Tennis Blog, click here
For posts on Sania Mirza, click here
For posts on Leander Paes, click here
For posts on Somdev Devvarman, click here
For posts on Tara Iyer, click here
For posts on Mahesh Bhupathi, click here
For posts on Rohan Bopanna, click here
For posts on Prakash Amritraj, click here
For posts on Sunitha Rao, click here

With Somdev Devvarman (January 13, 2009 and October 4, 2007)

Check upper-right corner of this blog

Popular Posts