Ankita fifth Indian lady in predominant draw

Melbourne: Ankita Raina has become only the fifth Indian woman in the Open era to secure a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam as she made the cut for the women’s doubles event of the Australian Open. After missing out on the singles main draw, the 28-year-old realised her long-time dream when she signed up with Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnecu and earned a direct entry. Nirupama Mankad (1971), Nirupama Vaidyanathan (1998), Sania Mirza and Indian-American Shikha Uberoi (2004) have competed in the Grand Slam main draws. “It’s first main draw of a Grand Slam. It’s special. Years of hard work, toil and now I am there,” Ankita said. “I know it’s doubles but India’s name will be there. Maybe next time, I will play singles too,” she added. PTI

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