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Sania-Bethanie stun sixth seed in Wimbledon doubles opener

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London, July 1 (IANS) India’s Sania Mirza on Thursday started her latest campaign in Wimbledon women’s doubles by stunning the sixth seeded pair with a comprehensive win.

On Thursday, Sania and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Desirae Krawczyk of the United States 7-5, 6-3 in a first round encounter played on Court 8 here.

Sania, who has bagged three Grand Slam doubles titles and as many mixed doubles titles thus far, had won the Wimbledon ladies doubles title in 2015.

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The 34-year-old from Hyderabad will become the first female athlete to represent India at four Olympics when she competes at Tokyo 2020, starting on July 23.

She is currently ranked 160 in doubles but is enjoying an extended period of protected ranking entry till October 2021. She was world No 9 when she went on a maternity break in October 2017 and therefore can qualify for Tokyo as a top-10 player gets direct acceptance into the doubles draw of 32, with a partner.

However, Sania will be hoping to improve her ranking with a few good results in Wimbledon as that will also boost her confidence ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

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–IANS

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