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Olympics: Sania-Ankita have final practice before Tokyo departure

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Hyderabad, July 18 (IANS) The Indian women’s doubles combination of multiple-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina had its final practice for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games here on Sunday.

The duo trained at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy in Hyderabad before they leave for Japan.

Sania, who had a protected ranking of No 9 following the break she took from the circuit for the birth of her son, was allowed by the rules to pick her partner for the Games and chose Ankita,who has a current doubles ranking of 95.

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Both Sania and Ankita had participated in the Wimbledon recently but with different partners. Playing with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sania lost to Russia’s Elena Vesnina and Veronika Kudermetova in women’s doubles second round.

In the mixed doubles, Sania and Rohan Bopanna reached the Round of 16 before losing to Andreja Klepac (Slovenia) and Jean-Julien Rojer (Netherlands). At the Rio Olympics in 2016, Sania and Bopanna had missed the bronze medal by a whisker, losing to Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradceka of Czech Republic in the playoff match.

Ankita, partnering Lauren Davis of the United states, lost to the all-American pair of Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula in the first round of women’s doubles.

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In mixed doubles, she paired up with compatriot Ramanathan Ramkumar and lost to Sania and Bopanna in the opening round.

The tennis competitions at Tokyo will start on July 24.

–IANS

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