Sunitha Rao

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Sunitha Rao
Sunitha Rao Albuquerque 2008.jpg
Sunitha Rao at the 2008 Coleman Vision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, United States
Country (sports)  United States (2000–2007)
 India (2007–2009)
Residence Bradenton, United States
Born (1985-10-27) October 27, 1985 (age 31)
Jersey City, United States
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Turned pro 2004
Retired 2009
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$ 238,224
Career record 196–188
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 144 (July 7, 2008)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open Q3 (2003, 2005)
French Open Q2 (2005, 2006)
Wimbledon Q3 (2003)
US Open Q3 (2007)
Career record 107–105
Career titles 0 WTA, 8 ITF
Highest ranking No. 108 (May 19, 2008)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games 2R (2008)

Sunitha Rao (Kannada: ಸುನಿತಾ ರಾವ್; born October 27, 1985) is a former is an American-born Indian professional tennis player.

She has won 8 doubles titles on the ITF circuit in her career. On 7 July 2008, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 144. On 19 May 2008, she peaked at world number 108 in the doubles rankings. Rao retirement from tennis 2009.

Playing for India at the Fed Cup, Rao has a win–loss record of 5–6.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Sunitha was born and raised by parents Manohar and Savithri in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her family spoke Kannada. Her parents are originally from Mangalore in Karnataka, India. Sunitha speaks some Kannada.

Her family now lives in Bradenton, Florida. Sunitha currently is staying in Boston, Massachusetts where she studies at Babson College.

WTA career[edit]


Rao played her first WTA match at the 2002 Brasil Open – Women's Singles event, where she defeated Vanessa Henke in the first round. She was beaten by Anastasia Myskina in the second round.

Sunitha played at the Hansol Korea Open 2004 where she was beaten by Miho Saeki in the first round. Rao participated at the Internationaux de Strasbourg 2005, but was overpowered by Iveta Benešová in the first round. Then she played at the Sunfeast Open where she beat Neha Uberoi in the first round before falling to Elena Likhovtseva.

Sunitha took part at the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic 2006, where she lost to Angelique Widjaja in the First Round. She also suffered a first round defeat at the 2007 Sunfeast Open to Nicole Pratt. Rao defeated Sandy Gumulya in the First Round of the Sunfeast Open to advance to the second round where she lost to Anne Keothavong. She then lost in the first round of the Bell Challenge to Alina Jidkova.


Sunitha received an entry into the PTT Pattaya Open via a Lucky Loser spot. She beat Junri Namigata before losing to Ekaterina Bychkova. Then, at the Copa Colsanitas, she lost to Edina Gallovits in the first round.

Rao received the best result of her WTA career at the 2008 DFS Classic in Birmingham. She beat Petra Kvitová (who would be the future world no.2 and Wimbledon titlist) in the first round and Naomi Cavaday in the second before falling to Alona Bondarenko in the third round.

She partnered with Sania Mirza, representing India in the women's doubles event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[2] They got a walk-over in round one, but lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina of Russia in round two.

ITF Finals[edit]

Singles (0–7)[edit]

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$15,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. February 24, 2002 Mumbai, India Hard China Peng Shuai 3–6, 6–7(3-7)
Runner-up 2. November 10, 2002 Mexico City, Mexico Hard Czech Republic Olga Vymetálková 6–7(2-7), 3–6
Runner-up 3. October 17, 2004 Mackay, Australia Hard Australia Evie Dominikovic 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 4. October 24, 2004 Rockhampton, Australia Hard Australia Evie Dominikovic 0–6, 0–2 ret.
Runner-up 5. July 8, 2007 Southlake, United States Hard United States Alexa Glatch 2–6, 5–7
Runner-up 6. October 14, 2007 San Francisco, United States Hard United States Ashley Harkleroad 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 7. March 22, 2008 Noida, India Hard Latvia Anastasija Sevastova 2–6, 1–6

Doubles (8–7)[edit]

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score
Runner-up 1. January 18, 2004 Tampa, United States Hard United States Milangela Morales Russia Alisa Kleybanova
Japan Mayumi Yamamoto
2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. May 16, 2004 Charlottesville, United States Clay Puerto Rico Vilmarie Castellvi Argentina Erica Krauth
United States Jessica Lehnhoff
0–6, 1–6
Winner 1. November 14, 2004 Port Pirie, Australia Hard Australia Casey Dellacqua Australia Daniella Dominikovic
Australia Evie Dominikovic
4–6, 6–3, 7–6(8-6)
Winner 2. November 13, 2005 Port Pirie, Australia Hard Germany Gréta Arn Australia Monique Adamczak
Australia Christina Horiatopoulos
6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Winner 3. November 27, 2005 Mount Gambier, Australia Hard Japan Ryoko Fuda Germany Gréta Arn
Russia Anastasia Rodionova
6–1, ret.
Winner 4. May 7, 2006 Charlottesville, United States Clay Canada Marie-Ève Pelletier Brazil Maria Fernanda Alves
United States Lilia Osterloh
6–7(6-8), 6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 3. July 23, 2006 Hammond, United States Hard Japan Ryōko Fuda United States Christina Fusano
United States Raquel Kops-Jones
6–7(3-7), 6–4, 1–6
Runner-up 4. October 8, 2006 Traralgon, Australia Hard Australia Casey Dellacqua Australia Christina Horiatopoulos
United States Raquel Kops-Jones
2–6, 6–7(5-7)
Winner 5. October 15, 2006 Melbourne, Australia Hard Australia Casey Dellacqua Australia Daniella Dominikovic
Australia Evie Dominikovic
6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 5. January 20, 2007 Fort Walton Beach, United States Hard Canada Marie-Ève Pelletier Germany Angelika Bachmann
United States Tetiana Luzhanska
7–5, 6–7(7-9), 6–7(4-7)
Winner 6. June 2, 2007 Carson, United States Hard South Africa Kim Grant United States Angela Haynes
United States Lindsay Lee-Waters
6–4, 6–4
Winner 7. June 17, 2007 Allentown, United States Hard Japan Ryōko Fuda United States Angela Haynes
United States Lindsay Lee-Waters
6–7(3-7), 6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 6. March 14, 2008 New Delhi, India Hard France Aurélie Védy China Ji Chunmei
China Sun Shengnan
6–2, 2–6, [4–10]
Winner 8. May 11, 2008 Zagreb, Croatia Clay Hungary Melinda Czink France Stéphanie Foretz
Croatia Jelena Kostanić Tošić
6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 7. October 5, 2008 Troy, United States Hard United States Angela Haynes United States Raquel Kops-Jones
United States Abigail Spears
2–6, 0–6


  1. ^ Sunitha Rao at the Fed Cup
  2. ^ India names 57-member squad for Beijing Olympics

External links[edit]