Ankita Raina became the third Indian woman to secure a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam after she qualified for the doubles event of the Australian Open. Ankita and her partner from Romania, Mihaela Buzarnecu earned a direct entry for the doubles event. Earlier, two other Indian women- Sania Mirza and Nirupama Vaidyanathan have participated in Grand Slam main draws. Nirupama was the first to crack a Grand Slam main draw way back in 1998 at the Australian Open.
Ankita and Mihaela will play against the Australian wild card pair of Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock in the first round.
India’s Sumit Nagal is competing in the men’s singles event. Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will take part in the men’s doubles event with their respective partners.
The Australian Open will see top seed players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Ash Barty, Simona Halep and others.
The Australian Open 2021 will be the first major Grand Slam that has a live audience in the tournament since the coronavirus pandemic struck the world in November 2019.