Sania beats world no 25 in World Team Challenge

Sania Mirza stunned 25th ranked Agnes Szavay of Hungary in straight sets to help Asia-Pacific team become the Silver Group champions.

Written by Agencies | Hong Kong | Published:January 10, 2009 12:40 pm

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 on Friday 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 on Saturday 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 semi-final rubber.

The twin wins on Friday 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.

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