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September 13, 2000
Nirupama, Manisha get doubles entry
Indian women's tennis got an unexpected boost on Wednesday with its two top players, Nirupama Vaidyanathan and Manisha Malhotra, getting direct entries to the doubles event of the Olympic Games tennis competition.
The duo, who represented India at the Federation Cup tournament in Thailand in February before bowing out in the final league match, got a berth after German star Anke Huber pulled out of both the singles and doubles events with a wrist injury.
Nirupama and Manisha will now replace Huber and her partner Jana Kandarr in the draw for the 32-nation women's doubles tournament, which will be made on Friday at the Sydney Opera House.
India's chef-de-mission Ashok Mattoo said necessary clearances have been obtained from all concerned and he is making frantic efforts to contact the two players through the All India Tennis Association in Delhi.
Nirupama, the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games bronze medal winner, is right now in the United States and Manisha, who won the $10,000 ITF women's circuit event in Delhi last week, is in Paris.
Nirupama and Manisha are based in the United States and have been growing tennis-wise outside the Indian system.
While Nirupama's credentials are already established (she is in world's top 200 bracket), Manisha's victory in the ITF tournament over the weekend indicates that she is in good form.
Mail Sports Editor
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