Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza will partner young Ankita Raina at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the women’s doubles event. This will be Sania’s fourth appearance at the Olympics, with the six-time grand slam winner already featuring in the past three editions, in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Ankita Raina, India’s top-ranked Tennis player at the moment took to social media to announce that she is going to play alongside veteran Sania Mirza in the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics, beginning on July 23. Meanwhile, Sania, a six-time grand slam winner is making a return to the court after the birth of her son.
“With great honour and pride, I inform you that I have been selected to represent India at the Olympics in the women’s doubles category, partnering Sania Mirza. The effort and hard work put in all these years have been fruitful with your invaluable support and encouragement! I take this opportunity to express my immense gratitude to ONGC corporation. I will do my best to make India proud,” stated Ankita Raina, in a post shared by her employers, ONGC.
Even though Sania Mirza is the 157th ranked doubles player in the world, she sneaked into the Olympics by virtue of the ‘special ranking’ system introduced by WTA. The rule allows players to enter a competition with the rankings before a player has taken a break from the game owing to injury or pregnancy. Sania Mirza was ranked No.9 when she took a lay-off.
This is going to be Sania’s fourth appearance at the Olympics, having featured in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 editions alongside Sunitha Rao, Rushmi Chakravarthi and Prarthana Thombare respectively. However, Ankita Raina will be making her debut at the quadrennial event. Ranked 183 in the world and with an Asian Games bronze medal under her belt, Ankita is also expected to make a cut in the women’s singles event at the Games.