Sania disappers after eight minutes' show on court

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Kolkata, Sep 17 (UNI) Tennis icon Sania Mirza today disappeared after hitting the ball for eight minutes in a practice court in the Netaji Indoor Stadium here, with the buzz getting louder of her skipping the meet.

Sania was caught by the lensmen this morning on the barge during a ''river tennis'' extravaganza, showing a little discomfort while warming up.

As the day progressed and with no confirmation on the 20-year-old Hyderabadi's participation, speculations were rife that she could skip this edition of the tournament.

However, in the evening Sania arrived at the Court no 1 and began to practice, but the show was soon over after the camera persons made a mad scramble for a snap.

Sania was seen walking out rolling her wrist in obvious discomfort along with Federation Cup coach Enrico Piperno.

It was still not confirmed whether the 27th ranked Indian will play tomorrow or not.

However, after arriving here last night Sania had said, ''I will need to practice tomorrow to see how my wrist feels. Only after that will I take a decision on whether I will play or not.'' Meanwhile, reiterating the same thoughts, ace doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi today said, ''As a player I know injuries are part and parcel of the game and all of us have to take it in our stride.

She will practice today and take a call in the evening about her availability. We are all hoping she will recover and play.'' Bhupathi also took part in an exhibition match with Sania in the middle of the river Hoogly. The two played a three game duel on a barge specially constructed for the event.

The 114-feet by 37-feet structure placed strategically between the Howrah Bridge and Vidyasagar Setu provided a breathtaking view for the players.

As the water swirled and waves rippled through, Sania looked resplendent in her yellow jacket and tights that matched the golden streak of the barge.

She won her first match downing Bhupathi, who seemed too please to oblige the prodigy he discovered five years back.

UNI

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