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Sania seeded 26th for the US Open
August 22, 2007 18:32 IST
Having warmed-up for the US Open with impressive performances in the past few weeks, Sania Mirza [Images] has recieved yet another fillip by becoming the first Indian woman to be seeded in the season's last Grand Slam.
The 20-year-old has been seeded 26th at the championship, which gets underway at the Flushing Meadows in New York from August 27.
Sania, who reached a career-high WTA ranking of 28 last week, is likely to get an easy first-round draw as a result of her seeding.
The Indian, who chose to stay off the court last week, has had an impressive build-up to the championship, reaching the semifinals of Cincinnati Open, followed by a runner-up finish at the WTA event in Stanford last month.
For the Hyderabadi-girl the high has come after a rollercoaster season so far. She made a good start to her year, reaching the semifinals of a WTA event in Hobart.
However, a second-round exit from the Australian Open set off a series of failures for her as she struggled with a knee injury and an indifferent form for the next few months.
Sania's ranking dropped as a result and second-round exits at the French Open and Wimbledon added to her woes.
However, the Indian ace fought back and made a solid start to summer hard courts in the run-up to the US Open.
Sania had to her credit five top-20 wins, which included victories over world number 12 Martina Hingis [Images], 14-ranked Dinara Safina and 17th-ranked Patty Schnyder.
The wins propelled her rankings back to a career-high of 31 on July 30 before she broke into the top-30 this month.
Sania's dream run also stretched to doubles as she captured two WTA titles on hardcourt. The Indian partnered with American Bethannie Mattek to clinch the Cincinnati trophy before teaming up with Israeli Shahar Peer for the doubles crown in Stanford.
After achieving her aim to be in the top 30, Sania would now be keep up her good form and improve further as a player.
"As long as I keep improving and play good tennis, I feel that in the long run, the rankings will take care of themselves," she had said after regaining her career high ranking after a gap of two years.