Saturday, October 20, 2007

Injury-hit Sania Mirza cuts short 2007 season

Sania Mirza has returned to India after a string of first round defeats at European tournaments compounded by a strained abductor muscle.

India's number one singles player pulled out of the WTA Generali Ladies Linz tournament starting next week and said she will not be playing any more in 2007.

"It has been a long and hard year for me, where I had to make repeated comebacks from two serious injuries and a surgery," Mirza was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

"I am mentally tired and my body is crying out for a break. I'm looking forward to a rest and then a great season next year."

Mirza, currently ranked 30 on the WTA list, had lost to lesser-ranked players in the opening rounds of the Kremlin Cup and the Zurich Open this month.

The 20-year-old ends the year with a 30-19 win-loss record on the WTA Tour having recently touched career best rankings in singles (27) and doubles (18).

Mirza reached the final of WTA Stanford in July and can boast of wins over the likes of Martina Hingis, Dinara Safina and Patty Schnyder in an injury-riddled season. A knee injury had kept her out of action in the first half of 2007 while a wrist injury forced Mirza to withdraw from Kolkata's Sunfeast Open in September.

Her best Grand Slam result for the year was a third round spot at the US Open in August - eventually losing to good friend and nemesis Anna Chakvetadze.

Four doubles titles came her way this season with victories at Morocco (with Vania King), Cincinnati (with Bethanie Mattek), Stanford (with Shahar Peer) and New Haven (with Mara Santangelo). Mirza ended the year with a 32-11 record in doubles.

India's performance at this year's Hopman Cup mixed team challenge had earned Mirza and Rohan Bopanna direct entry into the 2008 edition in January but it remains unclear whether Mirza can recover in time for the event in Australia.
A break will help Sania perform better in 2008
Yes - no good can come of playing while injured
No - she should have stuck around till the end
Can't say free polls

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