Friday, December 18, 2009

Sania mirza to lead charge

Malaysia  : Sania and China's Zheng Jie will play against 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist and World No 5 Elena Dementieva of Russia and her compatriot Maria Kirilenko in three exhibition matches over the next two days.

Sania is not a newcomer to Malaysian shores as she was a regular in ITF junior tournaments here several years ago and she is delighted to be back.

"I've been to Malaysia on many occasions as a junior and for holidays a couple of years ago.

"It's one of my favourite places to be away from tennis, a home away from home."

Elena said the Showdown of Champions is the kind of publicity needed to promote women's tennis.

"This is the first time I'm playing here. I've heard a lot of nice things about Malaysia and I'm going to enjoy playing in the Showdown of Champions," said Elena.

Zheng Jie said her focus is on thrilling the crowd and playing her best tennis.

Despite not saying much, the stylish Maria is expected to be a crowd puller when the event begins at Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam today.

The doubles match between Sania-Zheng Jie and Elena-Maria at 7.30pm today is the curtain raiser.

Maria will play Zheng Jie in the first singles at 8.30pm tomorrow followed by the much anticipated Sania-Elena clash.

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