Ankita Raina on Sunday turned solely the third Indian lady tennis participant to safe a spot in the principle draw of a Grand Slam as she made the reduce for the ladies’s doubles occasion of the Australian Open. The yr’s first Grand Slam begins in Melbourne on Monday. After missing out on the women’s singles main draw, she nonetheless had an opportunity to qualify as a ‘fortunate loser’ until the completion of the primary spherical, however the 28-year-old realised a long-time dream when she signed up with Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu and earned a direct entry.
Solely Sania Mirza and Nirupama Vaidyanathan have competed within the Grand Slam most important attracts for India earlier than.
Ankita is just the second Indian after Sania, a six-time Grand Slam champion, to compete within the ladies’s doubles of a tennis main. Nirupama was the primary to crack a Grand Slam most important draw, again in 1998 at Australian Open.
The braveheart, who performed a key position in Indian Fed Cup staff’s great progress, stated though singles maintain a special significance, making the doubles too is particular.
“It is first most important draw of a Grand Slam, so singles or doubles, I’ll take it. It is particular. Years of onerous work, toil and now I’m there. Not solely my onerous work however blessings and assist of numerous folks have introduced me right here, I am unable to neglect that,” Ankita advised PTI moments after getting confirming her entry.
“I do know it is doubles however India’s title can be there. These are the moments that spark one thing amongst folks. Perhaps a couple of will begin dreaming that it is attainable,” she added.
“Folks begin believing. We contact many small milestones however this one is at a pinnacle. Anybody who begins taking part in skilled tennis, goals of taking part in in a Grand Slam.”
“No matter the truth that it’s doubles, I’ll take it. I stored at it. I stayed within the course of. Perhaps subsequent time, I’ll play singles too. After years of onerous work, it’s beginning with doubles however singles will occur. It is first, so particular,” she added.
Ankita stated initially she didn’t discover her title within the draw and was dissatisfied.
“I am unable to imagine it, I missed my title within the sheet. After observe I requested for the draw and frantically appeared for my title. I didn’t discover it. Then my coach known as me to say I’ve made it,” she stated.
Ankita had signed up with Romanian southpaw Mihaela, who was a top-50 singles participant earlier than damage pegged her again, on Friday.
They’ll open their marketing campaign towards Australian wild card pair of Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock.
“A pal advised me that Mihaela is searching for a accomplice. I spoke to her and she or he agreed. I’ve not performed together with her earlier than however I’ve performed with a lefty on the tour. It make mixture. I’m wanting ahead to it.”
Now India may have 4 Indians competing within the season’s first Grand Slam.
Nagal has drawn Lithiania’s Ricardas Berankis as his first spherical opponent.
Bopanna and his Japanese accomplice Ben McLachlan will tackle Korean wild card entrants Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Tune.
Sharan and his Slovakian accomplice Igor Zelenay will tackle German combo of Yannick Hanfmann and Kevin Krawietz
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