New Delhi: Sania Mirza will spearhead a
rather weak Indian challenge at the Commonwealth Games after
being named in a four-member women`s team for the mega-event
by the All India Tennis Association here on Thursday.
Along with Sania, young Poojashree Venkatesh will
represent India in the singles event.
Veterans Nirupama S Sanjeev and Rushmi Chakravarthy will
do the doubles duty.
Tara Iiyer and Sanaa Bhambri have been named reserve
players by AITA on the recommendation of coaches Jaideep
Mukherjea, Nandan Bal and Enrico Piperno.
While the Indian men`s team is strong with Leander Paes,
Mahesh Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna in the
list but not much can be expected from the women`s team.
Sania herself is struggling for form and has nothing to
boast of this year on the WTA tour and will have to go
through the qualifiers to play in the US Open.
Karnataka girl Poojashree played splendidly last year
winning four ITF Futures singles crowns before vanishing from
The 34-year-old Nirupama, who was the first Indian woman
to win a round in Grand Slam in 1999 at Australian Open, based
herself in US in 1997 and of late has been doing commentary.
The 32-year-old Chakravarthy has been playing on the ITF
circuit for a long time but the kind of competition the Games
will offer, it will not be easy for her and Nirupama to go to
the later stages.