India star Sania Mirza confident of winning Asian Games medal, despite injury

Updated 14 February 2018
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India star Sania Mirza confident of winning Asian Games medal, despite injury

NEW DELHI: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is confident of continuing her Asian Games record with another medal in this year's event — if she recovers from injury in time.
Mirza, regarded as India's best ever women's tennis player, has achieved at least one medal at every Asiad meet since 2006 and hopes this year's games in Indonesia will be no different.
But the 31-year-old has been sidelined since October with a knee injury, and her former No. 1 doubles ranking — the first ever for an Indian in the women's event — has slipped to 14.
Mirza said she has every intention of competing in the Games starting August, if her knee had recovered.
"I am hoping to be back within a couple of months," she told AFP in an interview in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"I have always come back with a medal so if I go, then hopefully I will come back with one again."
Her last Asiad appearance in South Korea in 2014 resulted in a gold in the mixed doubles and bronze in the doubles event.
Mirza made waves in 2005 as the first Indian to win a WTA singles title. She reached the fourth round of the US Open in the same year, and by 2007 was among the best 30 women's players in the world.
But a wrist injury ended her singles dream and focused her energies into doubles tennis, where a partnership with Swiss great Martina Hingis earned them three Grand Slam titles.
They later split in 2016.
The Indian star rated Serena Williams the "greatest player" of the open era, and predicted she would return top of her game after giving birth to a girl in September last year.
There was "unbelievable depth" in the women's game, she added.
"A person who is five in the world may win a slam, or a person you have never heard of may win," Mirza said.


Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final

Updated 19 October 2018
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Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final

  • Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed over Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
  • In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.

MOSCOW: Ons Jabeur made history on Friday when she became the first Tunisian woman to reach a WTA final by seeing off Latvian fifth seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed in one hour 37 minutes.
“This is really amazing and I’m really happy. I gave it all today, and it wasn’t easy because she plays really good,” said 24-year-old Jabeur, who unleashed 45 winners on her way to victory.
“Maybe I was too relaxed in the second set. At the end, I stayed calm. It was a little bit frustrating because I missed some easy balls, but I said I was just going to play my game, and if it goes, it goes.”
In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.
“They’re both playing good, so I hope they fight for four hours,” Jabeur had said. “The best win is that there is a Tunisian in the final.”
Jabeur lost her only career meeting against Kasatkina at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“She (Jabeur) plays interesting tennis with plenty of drop shots, often advances to the net,” Kasatkina said.
“Everything is possible in tomorrow’s final and I will just come onto the court and try to play my best.”
In the ATP event, France’s Adrian Mannarino ended Egor Gerasimov’s run beating the Belarus qualifier 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to set up a semifinal with Italy’s Andreas Seppi, who ousted fourth seeded Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia beat last year’s runner-up Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 will face third-seeded compatriot Karen Khachanov, who saw off Mirza Basic of Bosnia 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).