Tough opening round for Sania in Aus Open
Melbourne: Sania Mirza on Friday drew a tough first round opponent in Bulgaria`s Tsvetana Pironkova for the women`s singles event of the Australian Open, season`s first Grand Slam tournament.
Sania, who is placed 105 in the ranking charts, has not crossed the first round hurdle in the singles at the Australian Open since 2009 while Pironkova, ranked 48, had made the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011.
It will be the first meeting between the two players and Sania, who is coming back to competitive tennis after a knee injury, has just played one tournament in the new season in the run-up to Australian Open, beginning Monday.
She played in Auckland and lost in the first round of the qualifiers against American Coco Vandeweghe.
If Sania is able to cross the first round hurdle, she may be up against 28th seed Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who will open her campaign against Kazakhstan Galina Voskoboeva.
Sania is the only Indian this year to represent her country in the singles competition at the Australian Open as Somdev Devvarman has withdrawn due to a shoulder injury.