Ana and Sania

Ana and Sania

Sania Mirza, with whom Ana played doubles at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami, enjoyed the experience of competing alongside the Serbian. The pair reached the quarter-finals in their first event together.

“It’s very nice playing with Ana,” Mirza told “She’s a great girl. I’ve known her from the juniors so I’ve known her for years now. It was fun, we were enjoying it, even when we lost.

“It’s not a big deal, we still made the quarters. It was the first time we were playing together. We had a couple of great matches. We’re almost the same age so there’s hope. Next time.”

The Indian and Ana teamed up to beat Tathiana Garbin and Maria Elena Camerin 6-3, 6-4 in the first round and thrashed Kveta Peschke and Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-4 in round two. They eventually lost 7-5, 6-0 to eighth seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Shinobu Asagoe.

“I think we did pretty well for the first time,” said 19-year-old Mirza, who is coached by her father. “We might play together later on if we have the same schedule.”

Mirza, who is currently ranked 41 in singles, has never played against Ana but having played next to her, and practiced with the 18-year-old on the mornings of their doubles matches, she is well placed to give an assessment of Ana’s game.

She said: “Ana has a great serve and we all know she has a great forehand. Those two things have brought her so far. She’s very aggressive. I think her temperament is very good. Even when she loses a match she’s very optimistic about it.

“It’s hard to say she has a weakness. We played well together. I think we were very excited to play with each other. It just so happened that last week we got a wild card and I think we justified our wild card.”

By Gavin Versi