Sania Mirza Enters Doubles World Top Ten

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-08-30T220145Z_592763968_LM2E78U1P6X01_RTRMADP_3_TENNIS-OPENIndia’s Sania Mirza on Monday cracked the top 10 in the women’s doubles tennis rankings. Her singles rankings, however, slipped 17 places to 81. The top Indian women’s player, who is nursing a knee injury, climbed a rung to the 10th position in the new Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) doubles rankings.

“Woke up to find out I cracked the top 10 in the world… thanks each and everyone of u for the support and love all these years.” Sania wrote on her twitter account. “Needed some good news to lift up spirits after this silly knee injury…hope to recover soon….

Mirza, and her Russian doubles partner Elena Vesnina lost in the third round of the U.S. Open last week. The pair had won two doubles championships this year, in addition to reaching the finals of the French Open. Mirza and Vesnina are ranked number four in the world as a women’s doubles team. Mirza also won an additional women’s doubles title last month with Kazakhstani partner Yaroslava Shvedova.

The top four women’s doubles teams will compete in the WTA end-of-year championships. However, Mirza’s knee injury may keep her out of action through the end of the year, which would force Mirza and Vesnina to give up their spot in that elite tournament.

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Muslim Women With Another Dismal Grand Slam

September 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-08-30T220145Z_592763968_LM2E78U1P6X01_RTRMADP_3_TENNIS-OPENIn what has become a disappointing pattern, the Muslimas of the professional tennis world have once again experienced miserable results at a Grand Slam tennis tournament. This time around it is the U.S. Open, which began this week. India’s Sania Mirza seemed to carry the highest hopes of the bunch, with her WTA singles ranking on the uptick, most recently reaching number 63in the world. But she did not receive the smoothest of draws, facing the number 23 seed Shahar Peer of Israel in the first round. Mirza started off well, taking the first set 7-6 (7-5) from her former doubles partner. But that was it, as Peer stormed back to take the next two sets, and the match, 6-3, 6-1. This concluded what has been a downer of a month for Sania, as she lost in the first round of her last event, the Texas Open. And, she has also spent the last few weeks refuting claims by the Pakistan Tennis Federation that she demanded a $25,000 appearance fee earlier this year for a charity exhibition match for the Lahore flood victims.

Aravane Rezai, of France, had most recently had a run of good play. She made the finals of the Texas Open the previous week before losing to Sabine Lisicki. But because of Hurricane Irene, Rezai had to fly to Cleveland, Ohio and then drive to New York for the U.S. Open. And perhaps all those hours on the road took a toll on Aravane, as she went down meekly to number 26 seed Flavia Pennetta in the first round 6-4, 6-1.

The only spot of good fortune at this year’s U.S. Open amongst Muslim women came via Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova, who dispatched of Tamira Paszek in the first round 6-4, 6-2. And things opened positively on the men’s side, as Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and his Indian doubles partner Rohan Bopanna, opened their tournament with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 over Americans Robbie Ginepri and Rhyne Williams. Qureshi and Bopanna finished as runner-ups in last year’s U.S. Open, and they are the fifth-seeded team in this year’s tourney.

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Sania Mirza Loses in French Final

June 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

french-open-preview-L-BewaPyIndia’s Sania Mirza was within a whisker of winning her second Grand Slam title, but at the end of the day, it was “So close, yet so far away,” for Mirza and her Russian doubles partner Elena Vesnina at the French Open. Mirza and Vesnina, the seventh seeds in the ladies’ doubles division, lost in the finals to the unseeded Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka. The final score was 6-4, 6-3.

Sania previously won the mixed doubles at another Grand Slam event, the 2009 Australian Open, which she won with fellow Indian Mahesh Bhupathi. Mirza did become the first Indian female tennis player to reach a women’s doubles final. But it ended up being an off day for Mirza and Vesnina, as they were unable to overcome their unforced errors, especially in the face of inclement weather.
Mirza and Vesnina split the 165,000 euro second prize, while the victors took home a total of 330,000 euro. After the match Vesnina was thankful to her partner announcing, “Thanks Sania for the great experience we’ve had here. Hope we’ll have more of such games in the future.”

After the tournament, Mirza reached a career high doubles ranking of 14. And as a team, Mirza and Vesnina moved into the number three position in the WTA Championship rankings, putting them in contention for the year-end WTA championship event in Istanbul, Turkey. The event is only for the top four teams in the WTA rankings.

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Sania Mirza in French Open Semifinals

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-05-26T100750Z_984202618_LR2E75Q0S4R14_RTRMADP_3_TENNIS-OPEN-WOMEN

Sania Mirza of India returns the ball to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 26, 2011.    

REUTERS/Thierry Roge

India’s Sania Mirza, and her Russian doubles tennis partner, Elena Vesnina, are getting the attention of the paparazzi in Paris after upending the ladies’ doubles number one seeds Gisela Dulko of Argentina and Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6–0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Mirza and Vesnina, the seventh seeds, took only 66 minutes to dispatch of Pennetta and Dulko, who are ranked number one and number two respectively in the ladies’ world individual doubles rankings. Mirza’s partner, Vesnina, currently ranks number 10 in those same world rankings, while Sania has moved up to number 25. Sania is up to number 72 in the singles rankings.

Mirza and Vesnina will now take on the fourth seeded American duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond on Wednesday at Roland Garros Stadium in  Paris. No matter the result, Sania and Elena are sure to see their rankings shoot up further after the French Open.

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Muslims at the 2011 French Open

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

TENNIS-OPEN/It has been a mixed bag so far for Muslim tennis players at the 2011 French Open Tennis Tournament. Although, there has been a preponderance of sour ingredients in that bag so far. First with the bad, Uzbeki female tennis player Akgul Amanmuradova succumbed in the first round of the ladies’ singles competition to German Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-4. French Muslima Aravane Rezai was also a first round loser in her home tournament to Romanian Irina Camelia-Begu 6-3, 6-3, also in the first round.

Indian Sania Mirza was a first round winner in the ladies’ singles over Kristina Barrois of Germany 6-3, 6-3. Mirza was also a first round winner in the ladies doubles with Russian partner Elena Vesnina. Speaking of doubles, the team of Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Indian Rohan Bopanna is seeded fifth in the men’s doubles as they wait to play their first match.

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