One of India’s most celebrated tennis players, Sania Mirza, will be seen gracing the courts of the Dongguan Tennis Centre in China next February after she was selected to be part of the nation’s Fed Cup squad.
India announced their team for the Fed Cup late on Tuesday (24 December), recalling the multiple Grand Slam winner after a four-year absence. The nation’s top-ranked singles player, Ankita Raina also made the cut. The other members of the team will be Riya Bhatia, Rutuja Bhosale, and Karman Kaur Thandi, whereas Sowjanya Bavisetti will be the reserve player.
Ankita Raina will be the highest ranked player in the Indian team with a WTA singles ranking of 180, with the closest competitor for the 26-year-old being Riya Bhatia, who is ranked 379th in the world.
The former Davis Cup participant is scheduled to be the captain of the team, with 33-year-old Ankita Bhambri scheduled to coach the squad.
Sania Mirza’s return
Nearly a month ago, the Hyderabad-born tennis player had announced that she will be making a comeback to the sport, after a two-year maternity break, at the Hobart International, which is slated to begin in the second week of January.
Mirza revealed that she planned on participating in the women’s doubles category alongside Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine. The 33-year-old also intends to participate in the Australian Open in 2020, plying her trade in the mixed doubles category alongside Rajeev Ram of the USA.
Now with her name being chosen for the Fed Cup team as well, Mirza can expect a busy few months ahead of her.
Fed Cup format
The Fed Cup will be played as a round robin competition with a pool of six teams in one group. India’s group will include China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Korea Republic, and Uzbekistan. The bottom ranked two sides in that group will be relegated to the lower group.
The round-robin matches of the Fed Cup are scheduled to begin on February 4, 2020 at China’s Dongguan Tennis Centre, will the last match expected to be on February 8. The schedule for the competition is yet to be decided.