Sania, Bartoli in top half of Sunfeast draw

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Kolkata, Sep 15 (UNI) Crowd favourite and third seed Sania Mirza will take on wild card entrant Sunita Rao in the first round of the Sunfeast Open 07, while top seed and world no 10 Marion Bartoli will take on American Vania King in her opening tie.

Rao ranked 208 in the world will definitely consider herself unlucky as Sania is in sublime form this season having reached her career high of 27 in the world ranking, but in their only previous meeting at the Mumbai Hard Court in 2002, Rao had beaten Sania 6-3, 6-3.

But Sania is nursing a wrist injury that has cast a cloud over her participation in the tournament, though the organizers as well as the player, it has been learnt, is hopeful of recovering in time for the meet. Whoever, advances amongst the two Indians will face either Sara errani of Italy or Anne Keothavang of England in the next round.

The duo is in the top half of the draw along with top seed Marion Bartoli and fifth seed Alla Kudryatseva of Russia. The French girl will meet Vania King of the USA in round 1.

Vania who had partnered Sania to win the Morocco Open early this year, is an accomplished doubles player and ranked 88 in the world.

She had a dismal year at the Grand Slams and went out in the first round of all the four majors making her an easy prey for the world number 10.

If Bartoli overcome the first hurdle, she will either face Maria Koryttseva of the Ukraine or a qualifier in the second round.

Bartoli and Sania can have a possible semifinals showdown if things go accordingly to plan. But Bartoli may have a tricky quarterfinal match up against Kudryatseva, but the Russian is predominantly a clay court player, reaching the fourth round of the French Open but had little success at the hard court circuit in the later half of the year.

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Daniela Hantuchova faces last year's Bangalore Open winner Yaroslava Shevedova. Fourth seed Maria Kirilenko also features in the bottom half and has a relatively easy round one, taking on a qualifier.

Wild card entrant Kyra Shroff of India who will turn 15 this October faces eight seed Chan Yung-jan of Chinese Taipei while other Indian on the fray Tara Iyer takes on Italian girl and seventh seed Flavia Pennetta.

Tara ranked 308 in the world has a remote chance against Flavia who is sitting high up at the ranking ladder in the 69th spot.

UNI

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