Sania pulls out of Australian Open mixed doubles, but will play in women’s doubles

Sania pulls out of Australian Open mixed doubles, but will play in women's doubles

MELBOURNE: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has pulled out of the Australian Open mixed doubles event to protect her calf from a strain but will compete in the women’s doubles with Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok.

Sania was scheduled to play in the mixed doubles with compatriot Rohan Bopanna but decided to limit her appearance at the first Grand Slam of the season to just one event. Sania, returning to action after a two-year maternity break, had won the Hobart International with Kichenok.

She had pulled her calf muscle during the training in run-up to the Hobart International and felt the strain during her triumphant campaign last week. “As I speak to you I am still icing my leg,” Sania had told PTI after winning the Hobart event.

Bopanna, though, remains in the mixed doubles and has teamed up with Kichenok. They will open their campaign against second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Shuai Zhang.

Leander Paes is also competing in mixed doubles, pairing up with Jelena Ostapenko, who had won 2017 French Open. They are pitted against local wild card entrants Storm Sanders and Marc Polmans. PTI

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