The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 22 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Staying fit is the top priority for Sania

New Delhi: Sania Mirza, who recently won an ITF tournament in Dubai to end the year on a high, on Tuesday, expressed confidence of a good show in the Australian Open early next year.

The 24-year-old, who is now ranked 164th in the world, beat Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the $75,000 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge final, on Sunday, in Dubai.

“It’s really satisfying. It’s like a dream come true considering the way I started the season with an injury. In the last six months I have been playing consistent tennis. And going into a Grand Slam with a title and beating a top 40 player gives you a lot of confidence,” Sania said.

She denied that it was a conscious attempt to play ITF tournament in between WTA tournaments.

“Now ITF are not considered lower tournaments. Some of the events have higher ranked players than WTA tournaments.

“Recently, I played a WTA tournament in which the top seed was ranked 75. But in Dubai the top seed was ranked 40th,” said Sania.

“It was a good competition. And since I had missed 6-7 tournaments because of Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, so I needed to play,” she added.

Asked if she can now break into top 50 considering her current form, Sania insisted, “Staying healthy is my priority.”

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