Sania Mirza has crashed out of the top-10 women’s doubles rankings in the latest WTA chart for the first time since March 2014 and is now placed at No. 12. However, it wasn't all bad news as 31-year-old Divij Sharan has entered the top-50 for the first time in his professional career.
After losing three places, Sania finished at 12th place in the latest women’s doubles ranking after consistently maintaining her position in top-10 since March 17, 2013. The Hyderabad-born player was world number one in doubles through the entire 2016 season. Her downfall started this season in which she began as number one but failed to qualify for the year-end WTA Finale.
In the men’s rankings, Indian player Sharan reached the final of the last three tournaments he participated in winning the ATP 250 European Open and ended up as the runners-up at Challenger events in Brest and Tashkent with different partners. This has helped him climb the rankings and enter the top-50 for the first time in his career. India now
Purav Raja (62), Leander Paes (70), and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (97) are the other Indian players who feature in the top-100.
"I made my first ATP point in 2003. It's been a long and exciting journey since then. There has been a lot of hard-work, sacrifices, experiences, travel, decisions, ups and downs but most importantly I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love doing the most which
Sharan has won 19 ITF Futures titles, 13 Challenger trophies, and three ATP Tour titles in his career.
"The guys to whom we are losing close matches are the ones who are winning Slams. We have beaten them too sometimes, so I feel I am up there and can win a Grand Slam.
"I have been employed by Indian Oil since 2004 and their support has been massive through most of my career. Head and Adidas have also been providing my racquets and kit for the last four years," he added.
Another Indian player who progressed in doubles is Vishnu Vardhan, who jumped 16 places to reach his career-best ranking of 118. Vardhan and his partner N Sriram Balaji (139) had won the Shenzhen Challenger on Saturday which helped them to earn 90 ranking points each.
In the singles category, Yuki Bhambri (140) continues to lead the chart and is followed by Ramkumar Ramanathan (148), Prajnesh Gunneswaran (255), Sumit Nagal (331) and Balaji (350).