Television

Virginia Ruano Pascual to partner Sania Mirza for doubles draw at Sunfeast Open 2005

Kolkata, September 6, 2005: Women Doubles World No. 1, Virginia Ruano Pascual has confirmed her participation for the Doubles Draw for the Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata. She will partner none other than India's very own tennis sensation, Sania Mirza for the tournament. Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata will be held at Netaji Indoor Stadium from September 19-25, 2005.

Virginia Ruano Pascual, the Spanish champion, has to her credit 3 WTA Tour Singles titles and 34 WTA Tour Doubles titles with aggregate prize money of $4,218,340. She is currently ranked as high as No. 1 for doubles. She has won three French Open doubles titles and won the US Open doubles for three consecutive years 2002, 2003 and 2004. She has also won the coveted Australian Open doubles in 2004.

The period 2002-04 has been a dream period for Virginia Ruano Pascual. In 2002, Virginia established herself as one of world's best doubles players, winning eight of 10 finals (seven w/Suárez, one w/Black). In 2003, Virginia continued her impressive run, reaching all four Grand Slam finals (w/Suárez) for a streak of seven straight wins dating back to 2002 Roland Garros. The year 2004 was another outstanding year in doubles (w/Suarez), where Virginia won the Australian Open, the French Open (third there and ninth consecutive Grand Slam final) and US Open (seventh Grand Slam together), defeating Kuznetsova/Likhovtseva in all three finals. She won a Tour-best 65 doubles matches.

On the other hand, Sania Mirza, the young Indian rising tennis star recently created history by becoming the first Indian woman tennis player to reach the fourth round of Grand Slam- US Open 2005. Competing with top seeded Russian and 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in the pre-quarter-finals of the 2005 U.S. Open women's singles, has only further strengthened Sania's confidence as she gears up for her next WTA tournament in her home country - Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata.

Says Mahesh Bhupathi, Managing Director, Globosport India Pvt. Ltd., Sania's fantastic performance at the US Open 2005 has been successful in impressing and achieving international acclaim. Virginia's decision to partner Sania for doubles draw at Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata just goes to prove this point. The duo would a make good combination where experience would join hands with fresh talent & sincerity to excel. The addition of yet another world's top seed player to the player field of Sunfeast Open 2005, talks volumes of the quality & reach of Indian tennis and will definitely help us make the tournament a roaring success."

Says Tournament Director, Jaidip Mukherjea, "It doesn't get bigger than this. We have managed to get the Women's World No 1 player in doubles to participate at the Sunfeast Open 2005. This is a coup of sorts and is an incredible opportunity for India to project itself as a country rich in tennis talent, thereby successfully placing it on the global sporting arena.

Players like Virginia, Myskina, Likhovtseva, Karolina Sprem, Tanasugarn among others will ensure in keeping the excitement for Sunfeast Open 2005 alive as we closer to the D-day. With some more surprises to unfold, our hopes of a super hit tournament are only soaring by the minute."

The combination of Sania and Virginia will provide an ideal recipe for tennis fans and enthusiasts who will be witness some top tennis action at the Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata. Virginia's dominance on the doubles circuit will act as a perfect complement to Sania's aggressive play. Partnering Virginia will be a great learning experience for Sania Mirza who continues to make an impression with every tour. With her singles career already on a high and having achieved her goals for the year, Sania can also concentrate on her skills in doubles and improve on her overall serve and volley game in addition to her strong backhand and forehand.

About Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata

Touted as South Asia's biggest sporting spectacle, Sunfeast Open 2005 is Tier III WTA (Women Tennis Association) event with prize money of US$ 170,000. It will be played at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata from September 19-25, 2005. The Sunfeast Open 2005, Kolkata is a new event that is being added for the first time to the WTA Tour championships, and will feature some of the world's leading players as well the new generation of Indian stars led by Sania Mirza and Shikha Uberoi. The tournament is being brought to Kolkata by Globosport, the sports management company owned by Mahesh Bhupathi, under the auspices of the Government of West Bengal. With the explosion of talent in women's tennis in India, the Sunfeast Open 2005 - Kolkata will allow Indians to see a new generation of Indian women take on the best in the world in their own backyard. For further information, refer www.sunfeastopen.com

For further information, please contact:

Anirban Das Blah Suresh Rangarajan

Globosport India Pvt Ltd Vaishnavi

Corporate Communications

Mobile: 98860 40643 Tel: 56568787

Mobile: 9821611560

Email: anirban@globosportworld.com Email: suresh@vccpl.com

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