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Sania ranked 29th in the world, number one in Asia


New Delhi : India’s Sania Mirza Monday climbed three places to 29 on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour and now she is Asia Number One for the first time.

The WTA website shows Sania, ranked 32nd before the Australian Open, has 931 points. This is, however, not the 21-year-old player’s career-best ranking as she was 27th in August.

Na Li of China at 32nd is the second best Asian on the WTA ranking list with 882 points.

Sania, who was seeded No. 31 at the just-concluded Australian Open, lost to eighth seed Venus Williams in the third round of the singles competition in Melbourne. Venus Williams won 7-6 (0), 6-4, but not before Sania led 5-3 in the first set.

Sania, who has a forceful forehand, and Mahesh Bhupathi then reached the mixed doubles final. The Indians lost to Tiantian Sun of China and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-7, 4-6 in the final Sunday.

The Hyderabad-based Sania, who is also a member of the Indian Fed Cup team, turned professional in 2003 and has earned $1,045,416 in prize money so far.

Sania reached quarter-finals of the Hobart tournament this month, going into the Australian Open.

In 2006, Sania won the WTA Newcomer of the Year Award.