Sania Mirza drops to 113 in WTA singles rankings, Paes maintains 7th spot in ATP dubles

Sania Mirza concentrating more on doubles has gone down considerably in the singles rankings as the Indian ace dropped 16 places out of top-100 to find herself at 113 in the singles ranking list, says a report in The Indian Express. Sania had played in the doubles event of the Doha tournament last week but did not compete in the singles. However, she maintained her seventh rank in the doubles list. She had lost in the first round of the Doha event with Russian partner Elena Vesnina.


In the ATP lost, out of action Somdev dropped to 122, a loss of two places. But a resurgent Yuki Bhambri rose to career-best 289 after gaining a jump of eight places. In the doubles lost, Leander Paes continues to be India's top-ranked player at number seven, followed by Rohan Bopanna (11) and Mahesh Bhupathi (15). The top-10 player will make a direct entry into the Olympics and will have the liberty to choose the partner for the doubles competition.

Meanwhile, Sania Mirza squandered a one-set lead to crash out of the qualifying event of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, losing the first round match to Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, say newspapers reports. Sania won the first set comfortably but lost steam as the match progressed to lose 6-2 3-6 2-6 in the opening round of the USD 2,000,000 hard court event. The Indian will now hope to do well in the doubles event, where she and partner Elena Vesnina are seeded second. They open their campaign against Oman's Fatma Al Nabhani and Slovakia's Andreja Klepac.

Meanwhile with warm-ups over, French test beckons India in the Olympic qualifier. The Times Of India writes that the fun days are over. It’s now time for some serious business. Having won the first two games without breaking any sweat, the Indian hockey team will on Tuesday enter the critical phase in the Olympic qualifiers here, a week which can make or mar their London dreams.

“Up against them in their first “real” match would be France, another team which is still unbeaten in the tournament. France are ranked No. 18 in the world, way below India (No. 10) but that does not ensure an easy exercise for the hosts. There are no easy matches when so much is at stake and the French have made this clear with their performance so far. The Europeans were impressive against Poland in their first match and ruthlessly clinical while thrashing the whipping boys of the qualifiers, Singapore, on Saturday,” writes the paper.

For the Indian eves, It is a battle of unknowns, if one may say so, writes The Hindu. “For, the only time the Indian women's hockey team had played Poland was in its lone Olympic appearance 32 years ago. Thereafter, there has been no contact between the two sides. Several generations of players have come and gone and the 7-0 win for India, which had finished fourth among six teams in Moscow, has got little meaning in the present context where the two teams are set to meet again on Tuesday in the qualifying tournament for the London Olympics. India, ranked second in the event, is considered as one of the favourites, while Poland, slotted at the bottom, looks forward to achieve a decent finish and improve its status in international hockey,” says the paper.

Meanwhile Roelant Oltmans, currently head coach for Delhi Wizards for the World Series Hockey tournament, is convinced India has a future in world hockey; and it is important hockey stays alive in India. “Of course hockey has a future in India. I am convinced. India is aiming to get back to the top and I know it has the physical, mental and tactical ability to achieve that goal. India has a rich hockey history and the fact that such a huge number of people watch the game all over the country is a big plus. The more they watch, the more they get attracted and for that obviously India has to do well in the big league,” said Oltsman.

In the domestic tennis top seed Vishnu Vardhan warded off a stiff challenge from Vivek Shokeen 6-4, 7-6(5) in the first round of the $10,000 ITF men's Futures tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex, here on Monday. In the pre-quarterfinals, Vishnu set up an interesting clash against Sanam Singh, who eased past Juan Antonio Los Santos of Malaysia for the loss of four games. Meanwhile, Former National champion, qualifier Vijay Kannan went down in three sets to wild card Sidharth Rawat.