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Ankita Raina rises to a new career-high ranking a week before playing the French Open qualifiers

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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1.13K   //    14 May 2018, 22:24 IST

ankita raina
Ankita Raina

Ahead of playing her first ever Grand Slam, the India No. 1 singles tennis ace Ankita Raina received a major boost of confidence by rising to a new career-high ranking of 187th in the new WTA world rankings released on Monday, May 14, 2018. The 25-year-old made a jump of seven spots, courtesy of a quarter-final finish at the $60,000 ITF event in Luan, China, where she was the third seed.

Raina lost narrowly to the sixth seeded Fang Ying Xun of China in a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-7(3) scoreline.

The Indian star had a much better outing in the doubles section, where she and Great Britain’s Harriet Dart combined to win the title.

Raina’s career graph has been on the rise for the past few weeks after a string of good results in the circuit. She became just the third Indian citizen and the fifth Indian overall to break into the top 200 of the WTA world rankings last month and has carried on that form since.

Next week she will be competing in a Major for the first time when she plays the qualifying rounds of the French Open in Paris.

Raina was not the only Indian to improve her ranking as the 19-year-old Karman Kaur Thandi also jumped a whopping 16 places to a new career-best 254th. Thandi also reached the quarter-finals of the same tournament in Luan, where she was seeded fifth.

Sania Mirza, who is expecting her first child, has dropped to 24th in the doubles rankings.

Big jump for Sasi Kumar Mukund

On the men’s side, Yuki Bhambri dropped eight places to 94th. The India No. 1 had been out of action for a few weeks now to recuperate from a foot problem. A month after winning the Taipei Challenger, the Delhi player will play his first match against the World No. 262 Yoshihito Nishioka at the Busan Challenger on Tuesday.

Bhambri will compete at the Geneva Open next week before heading to Paris for the French Open, where he has earned himself a direct entry.

Ramkumar Ramanathan is now placed at 124th, while India’s Davis Cup hero Prajnesh Gunneswaran is 175th. 21-year-old Sasi Kumar Mukund rose 45 places to a career-high 377th thanks to a brilliant show at the Karshi Challenger last week. He won five matches and reached the quarter-finals, having started from qualifying.

Rohan Bopanna, who suffered an opening round exit at the Madrid Masters, maintains his 23rd ranking. The next best Indian is Divij Sharan at 44th while the legendary Leander Paes slipped out of the top 50 to be placed at 51st. Purav Raja is static at 65th and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan moved up a couple of spots to 110th.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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