Sania signs off on a high in World Team Challenge | sports | Hindustan Times
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Sania signs off on a high in World Team Challenge

sports Updated: Jan 10, 2009 12:54 IST

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza stunned 25th ranked Agnes Szavay of Hungary in straight sets to help Asia-Pacific team become the Silver Group champions of the World Team Challenge in Hong Kong.

World number 100 Sania, playing her first tournament after a lengthy injury lay-off, beat the higher-ranked Szavay, who was representing Team Europe, 6-3 6-4 last night.

Earlier, the Indian ace teamed up with Chinese Zheng Jie to clinch the doubles final 6-1 6-1 against the pair of Europe captain and world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito.

The wins gave Asia-Pacific a 2-0 lead in the three-match finals before Jankovic's pull-out from the reverse singles made it 3-0.

Jankovic opted out of the match against Jie today due to flu which the Serb said had left her "feeling weak and sick for the last couple of days".

Asia-Pacific could not make the Gold Group finals of the exhibition tournament after losing to Team Russia. Sania had gone down to old nemesis Ana Chakvetadze 4-6 4-6 in that semifinal rubber.

The twin wins last night come as massive confidence boosters for the injury-ravaged Indian ahead of the Australian Open this month.

The 21-year-old was off courts for most part of the year 2008 due to injuries with a wrist ailment deteriorating to career-threatening proportion.

The Hyderabadi, who relies heavily on her power-packed forehands, was unable to even lift a fork while being treated for the wrist injury, as a result of which her rankings also plummeted.