Sania pulls out of Sunfeast Open, to sit out for two weeks

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Kolkata, Sep 17 (UNI) Clearing all speculations, tennis ace Sania Mirza has pulled out of ongoing Sunfeast Open and will be out of action for at least two weeks due to a wrist injury.

''I was really looking forward to participating at the Sunfeast Open 2007. I am very upset that this injury is keeping me away from the courts. My fans have always been very supportive and I was keen to perform well in Kolkata. I wish all the players especially the Indian compatriots a great and exciting tournament,'' Sania said in a written statement here today which was announced by the WTA Sony Ericsson senior marketing manager Jill Hausler.

''Sania is out with a wrist injury that has plagued her since the US Open. She will also miss the Hansol Korea Open next week,'' WTA Tour Supervisor for the Sunfeast Meet, Fabrice Choquet said.

''If she recovers in time she will play the Tokyo Open that starts in two week's time,'' she added.

Meanwhile, lucky loser Sandy Gumuliya of Indonesia will replace Sania and will now play Sunitha Rao in the first round. The selection of the lucky loser is made based on their performance in the qualifiers and current WTA rankings.

Her imminent departure from the tournament was evident when she disappeared after hitting the ball for just eight minutes in a practice court at the Netaji Indoor Stadium this evening.

The 20-year-old Hyderabadi 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 her 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 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. That time it was still not confirmed whether the 27th ranked Indian will play tomorrow or not.

Earlier, Sania after arriving here last night 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.'' 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.'' However, Sania will play a mixed doubles fun match tomorrow evening featuring Sachin Tendulkar and Mahesh Bhupathi.

UNI

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