Thursday, September 03, 2009

US OPEN : mixed doubles - Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi part ways

Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi will be playing with different partners in the mixed doubles event of the ongoing US Open tennis championships
The Australian Open mixed doubles champions reached the decision due to uncertainity over Sania's participation in the event because of her troubled wrist, which was operated upon last year.

Sania's father Imran Mirza told IANS that her wrist was troubling her again and she wanted to wait till she was sure of playing in the mixed doubles.

'Sania's wrist has been hurting on and off over the last few weeks and she was not sure whether she would play the mixed doubles event. She wanted to decide at the last moment after gauging the condition of her injury,' the elder Mirza said Thursday.

'Under the circumstances, we thought it would not be fair on Mahesh as he could end up missing out on the event if Sania was forced to back out at the last moment. Hence, it was mutually decided that he would finalise another partner for himself and in case Sania decided to play at the last moment, she would try to find someone who was still available.'

Bhupathi, who has seven Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, has paired up with the experienced American Liezel Huber and they have received top billing. The pair will open against American Vania King and Marcelo Melo of Brazil.

Sania has entered the event with 37-year old doubles specialist Daniel Nestor from Canada and the duo are are in the same half as Bhupathi-Huber. Sania and Nestor will meet Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan and Australian Ashley Fisher in the first round.

Sania's wrist injury had kept her out of action for the most part of 2008 that saw her career ranking drop from a high of 27.

The 74th-ranked Indian was blanked out of the US Open singles second round by Italian Flavia Pennetta Tuesday.Meanwhile, Leander Paes has teamed up with Cara Black of Zimbabwe and the duo are seeded second. They will play Switzerland's Patty Schnyder and South African Wesley Moodie in the first round.

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