Sunitha Rao at the 2008 Coleman Vision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, United States
|Country (sports)|| United States (2000–09)|
India (2007–09; Fed Cup and Olympic tournaments only)
|Residence||Bradenton, United States|
|Born||October 27, 1985|
Jersey City, United States
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Prize money||US$ 238,224|
|Highest ranking||No. 144 (July 7, 2008)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||Q3 (2003, 2005)|
|French Open||Q2 (2005, 2006)|
|US Open||Q3 (2007)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 8 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 108 (May 19, 2008)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||2R (2008)|
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. Rao also is the fourth female tennis player in history representing India to enter the top-200 world rankings, after Nirupama Sanjeev, Shikha Uberoi, and Sania Mirza.
Sunitha was born and raised by parents Manohar and Savithri in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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. In 2003, when asked by the All Indian Tennis Association to represent India in international tournaments, her family asked for Rs. 5 crores, an offer that the AITA refused.
Rao 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.
She 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 2006 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.
Rao 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. They got a walk-over in round one, but lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina of Russia in round two.
|Outcome||No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score in the final|
|Runner-up||1.||February 24, 2002||Mumbai, India||Hard||Peng Shuai||3–6, 6–7(3–7)|
|Runner-up||2.||November 10, 2002||Mexico City, Mexico||Hard||Olga Vymetálková||6–7(2–7), 3–6|
|Runner-up||3.||October 17, 2004||Mackay, Australia||Hard||Evie Dominikovic||5–7, 3–6|
|Runner-up||4.||October 24, 2004||Rockhampton, Australia||Hard||Evie Dominikovic||0–6, 0–2 ret.|
|Runner-up||5.||July 8, 2007||Southlake, United States||Hard||Alexa Glatch||2–6, 5–7|
|Runner-up||6.||October 14, 2007||San Francisco, United States||Hard||Ashley Harkleroad||1–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||7.||March 22, 2008||Noida, India||Hard||Anastasija Sevastova||2–6, 1–6|
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