Wednesday, December 8, 2021
SportAnkita fifth Indian woman in Grand Slam main draw

Ankita fifth Indian woman in Grand Slam main draw

Published: 7th Feb 2021 7:41 pm

Melbourne: Ankita Raina on Sunday became only the fifth Indian woman tennis player in Open era to secure a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam as she made the cut for the women’s doubles event of the Australian Open.

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After missing out on the women’s singles main draw, she still had a chance to qualify as a ‘lucky loser’ till the completion of the first round, but the 28-year-old realised her long-time dream when she signed up with Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnecu and earned a direct entry.

Nirupama Mankad (1971), Nirupama Vaidyanathan (1998), Sania Mirza and Indian-American Shikha Uberoi (2004) have competed in the Grand Slam main draws for the country. Ankita is only the second Indian after Sania, a six-time Grand Slam champion, to compete in the women’s doubles of a tennis major.

“It’s first main draw of a Grand Slam, so singles or doubles, I will take it. It’s special. Years of hard work, toil and now I am there. Not only my hard work but blessings and support of countless people have brought me here, I can’t forget that,” Ankita said.

“I know it’s doubles but India’s name will be there. These are the moments that spark something among people. Maybe a few will start dreaming that it’s possible,” she added.

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