Is Sunitha Rao the next Sania Mirza?

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> After Sania Mirza, Sunitha Rao is the next rising star for India at the women's circuit.

Updated: September 30, 2007 14:02 IST
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New Delhi:

Sunitha Rao is the second highest ranked Indian woman tennis player and though she's yet to win a title, the sponsors and the fans certainly think she's ready to make the transitition to the big league in a couple of seasons.

Whether it's playing at the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata or getting 'Bakra'd' by Cyrus Broacha on MTV, Sunitha Rao has been in the public's eye.

The new brand ambassador of Reebok was at the DLTA center in New Delhi on Wednesday to lend a helping hand to the budding tennis players of India.

It might be the Chak De effect or perhaps just her own style and substance worth that made Reebok pick Sunitha Rao as their brand ambassador.

Currently ranked 196 in the world, Sunitha is just coming off a second round showing at the Sunfeast open.

Born in New Jersey, the 22-year-old qualified to represent the USA but there was never any doubt in her mind which country she was going to choose.

Rao had an impressive run in the junior circuit with a career high ranking of 16th in 2001. She can also boast of beating Sania in their only encounter back in 2002. But after turning pro in 2004, Sunitha lost her way a bit and is yet to win a single title.

Though she is more likey to break into the doubles top 100, having already won two doubles titles this year. She also reached the semifinals at the Sunfeast open in Kolkata.

After Sania Mirza, Sunitha Rao is the next rising star for India at the women's circuit and while she has shown potential, what remains to be seen is if she can match the meteoric rise of the Hyderabadi Hurricane.

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