I deserve an Olympic wild card: Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza Red
New Delhi, May 31: Her participation in the Olympics may have been jeopardised by a shocking first-round exit from the French Open, but top Indian tennis player Sania Mirza on Thursday said that she has done enough to deserve a wild-card entry into the London event.

Sania has a successful season so far, forcing her way into four WTA finals and winning two titles. She, along with Russian Elena Vesnina, was also one the most successful pairs last year. However, the shock first-round exit from the French Open, where she needed to defend 1400 points, meant that Sania may not find herself in the top-10 of the WTA doubles rankings by the June 11 cut-off mark. Only a top-10 player gets a direct entry into the women's doubles draw with the privilege to choose her partner. Sania, currently ranked 10th, is a strong medal contender for India in the mixed doubles event but to make the mixed doubles draw, she has to be in either singles or doubles main draw.

"I am an optimist and I think I've done well enough to deserve a wild card. As far as I know the wild cards go to the most deserving players from countries that are not represented in the event," Sania said from Paris. The ITF will issue its Olympic Qualification list on June 28 and it is perhaps the last chance for Sania to try and win an Olympic medal. Asked the way forward, if ITF ignores her application, the Hyderabadi said, "As I said, I am an optimist and I think I have a great chance for a wild card at the Olympics."

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Sania had lost in the first round in the singles and failed to advance beyond the second round in women's doubles along with Sunitha Rao.


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