New York: Sania Mirza sealed a berth in the
women`s singles main draw of the US Open with a hard earned
win over Columbia`s Catalina Castano in the qualifying event.
The unseeded Indian overcame a second set lapse to beat
her rival 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the third and final round in one hour
and 48 minutes here.
Sania saved four beakpoints and broke Catalina twice to
race to a opening set lead. However, Catalina fought her way
back by winning the second set, cashing in on both the break
chances that came her way.
In the final set, Sania saved four breakpoints and broke
Catalina twice to book herself a spot in the main draw.
It was for the first time since her breakthrough year in
2005 at Australian Open that Sania had to go through
qualifiers to compete in a Grand Slam.
Sania`s best Slam performance came at US Open in 2005
when she made the pre-quarterfinals.
A recurrent wrist injury and loss of form dented Sania`s
ranking heavily as she is now languishing at 160.
Somdev Devvarman will represent India`s challenge in the
men`s singles after earning a direct entry into the last Grand
Slam of the season.