Of Sania Mirza, Almost a Swiss Miss and Four Consecutive Slams (Maybe)

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Of Sania Mirza, Almost a Swiss Miss and Four Consecutive Slams (Maybe)
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Sania Mirza: On the comeback trail.

The WTA Tour may have shut down shop for the year. But the International Tennis Federation show rolls on. And doesn’t Sania Mirza know it.

The 24-year-old won the $75,000 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge knocking over Bojana Jovanovski in the final 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Jovanovski, a little-known Serb, is her nation’s No. 3. Her favourite book: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

This is Mirza’s first title in 17 months. Mirza earlier beat Julia Goerges, ranked 40th in the world, in the quarter-finals. For the Indian, the victory is a morale booster. She begins  the new season next year on a high.

"The win is good for my confidence, especially coming as it has after the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games where I figured among the medals," Sania said.

There will be a Swiss man at the Chennai Aircel Open in January next year. No, it’s not Roger Federer but his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, one of the three wild cards for the tournament.

Wawrinka was the runner-up last year, losing to Marin Cilic. The other top players in the main draw include Tomas Berdych, the highest ranked player in the draw at No. 6, Cilic (14), Richard Gasquet (29), Jeremy Chardy (45) and Janko Tipserevic (59).

Wawrinka, the Swiss No. 2, had earlier opted out of the tournament.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Wozniacki: ITF World Champion for 2010.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes will inaugurate their reunion at the Chennai Open in the men’s doubles.

In an interview to the Times Of India, the duo refused to answer who initiated the rapprochement.

Bhupathi and Paes (together): The first one made the first move and the second one agreed. (Laughter). We are not going to say who made the first move.

 
Paes: For me, it is not about why we are together or who made the first move. It is about whether we can add to our Grand Slam tally.

Rafael Nadal has expressed his anguish at sport being tainted with the doping scandal surrounding cyclist, Alberto Contador.

Spain had a fabulous year with Nadal completing a Career Slam and the soccer team crowned World Champions. Contador’s win at the Tour De France seemed the icing on the cake.

Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki were anointed ITF World champions for 2010.

Wozniacki said: "What an honour it is to be named ITF World Champion. To be listed with all the former ITF World Champions is something I am really proud of. I had a great year in 2010 and I’m training hard to have an even better year in 2011."

The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the annual ITF World Champions Dinner on May 31 in Paris, during Roland Garros.

Who will play spoiler to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open?

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Gael Monfils' pain is Nicholas Mahut’s gain. The big Frenchman will partner Kristina Mladenovic at the Hopman cup from Jan. 1–8.

The highlight of the tournament will be a much anticipated rematch between the two huge-serving giants John Isner and Mahut.

The question that’s on every tennis fan’s mind in the new season is whether Rafael Nadal can do a Rod Laver and hold all four Grand Slams at the same time. It is in the realm of probability.

Federer came close in 2006 and 2007 but could not overcome the Mallorcan at the French Open. Will Roger play spoiler at the Australian Open? Or will it be a case of third attempt lucky?

I should warn you that underneath these clothes I'm wearing boxer shorts and I know how to use them.

Robert Orben

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