Only Nirupama Vaidyanathan and Sania Mirza have appeared in the main draw of the Grand Slam women’s singles from India to date.

Top Indian player Ankita Raina advanced to the final round of Australian Open qualifying with a courageous three-set victory over World 118th Katarina Zavatska, but it was curtains for Ramkumar Ramanathan in men’s singles.

In the women’s singles qualifiers held in Dubai, 180th-seeded Ankita overcame a second set failure to win 6-2 2-6 6-3 in the second round against the Ukrainian.

Ankita said she was proud of the fight in the match which lasted two hours and 20 minutes.

“I started well in the first set and the first two games of the second set. Then the third game was a little bit crucial as she won this game and became confident and played more balls back, but I’m happy I was able to get the momentum back up, ”Ankita told PTI.

“I started to be more aggressive and stay true to my game. I struggled a little with the serve at first, but later it got a little better. There was little wind in the last half of the game, but I’m proud of the way I fought. Ankita will face Serbian Olga Danilovic, 20, ranked 183. It will be the first meeting between the two players.

“I feel confident with the game, I just need to play smart because every game and every day is new and different, so I take it game by game,” she said.

This is Ankita’s sixth attempt to break through the Grand Slam singles main draw and it is just one victory away from making history.

Only Nirupama Vaidyanathan and Sania Mirza have appeared in the main draw of the Grand Slam women’s singles from India to date.

Nirupama reached the second round of the Australian Open in 1998 while Sania stopped competing in the singles category in 2012.

In the men’s singles event in Doha, Ramkumar lost his second round 3-6 2-6 to Chinese Taipei’s Tung-Lin Wu in 69 minutes.

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