Injured Sania helps India move up to Group I | sports | Hindustan Times
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Injured Sania helps India move up to Group I

sports Updated: Feb 05, 2012 01:30 IST
Sharmistha Chaudhuri
Sharmistha Chaudhuri

When young Rutuja Bhosale lost the first rubber of the crucial Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I promotional play-off in Shenzhen, it was up to an injured Sania Mirza to deliver the goods against Hong Kong. And the experienced 25-year-old pulled it off.

Sania defeated Ling Zhang 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 to level the tie and then paired up with Isha Lakhani to get the better of Wing-Yau Venise Chan and Zhang 6-7(7), 6-1, 7-5 at the Shenzhen Luohu Tennis Centre on Saturday. With the 2-1 victory, India were promoted from Group II to I for 2013. Rutuja had lost 4-6, 1-6 to Chan.

“Very satisfying to have played my part in India’s entry into Group I of the Fed Cup,” said Sania. “I’m happy to have pulled through two matches in a day despite nursing a quad injury,” she added.

What she was referring to is the quadricep injury she picked up while playing at the Australian Open in Melbourne before travelling to China. She has a first degree tear on her left thigh which needs about a week to heal. Unfortunately, Sania can’t afford to take even a few days off in order to protect her ranking.

She is currently ranked No. 7 in the world in doubles and must maintain her top-10 position till June 11 to get a

direct entry into the London Olympics. Next on her schedule are tournaments in Pattaya (from Monday), Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston.

Sania and partner, Elena Vesnina, are the defending champions in Indian Wells and Charleston.