Injury to Shvedova forces Sania Mirza into new partnership

AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Sania Mirza's doubles partner Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan has withdrawn from Wimbledon as she will be out of action due to surgery, which she will undergo soon. With three days left to submit doubles entries for the third Grand Slam of the year and most top players already booked, Mirza has opted to team up with Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens, ranked 48th in the world in doubles.

Ahead of Wimbledon, Mirza/Flipkens will look to play at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, Sussex County, a week before The Championships, where she won the women's doubles title with Switzerland's Martina Hingis two years ago.

Mirza, who is currently partnering Coco Vandeweghe of the United States at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and has reached the quarter-finals in her first tournament of the year on grass, said: "Of course, it is disappointing to lose a regular doubles partner just three days before the entry deadline of a major but there is not much that can be done about it. My thoughts are with Slava (Yaroslava) and I pray for her speedy recovery. Flipkens is ranked 48 in the world and we will certainly not be seeded very high at Wimbledon. Tennis for me is all about giving it my best shot against all adversities and we will try to defy odds and give a good account of ourselves at Eastbourne (if we can still find a way to get into the draw at this late stage) and at Wimbledon."

Mirza and Shvedova played their first tournament together at this year's Madrid Masters in May, where they lost in the quarterfinals, after Mirza and her previous partner Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic mutually decided to part ways in April as Strycova wanted to focus on singles this year. Of the three other tournaments Mirza and Shvedova played together, they lost in the first round of the French Open and a semifinal run at the Rome Masters was their best result.