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Home > Sports > Tennis > Report

Sania gets tough Wimbledon draw

Deepti Patwardhan in London | June 22, 2007 18:03 IST

Sania Mirza [Images] was handed out a tough draw at Wimbledon.

India's only singles hope faces her Bangalore Open conqueror, Yaroslava Shvedova of Russia [Images], in the first round of the grass court championships, the draw for which was held at the All England [Images] Tennis Club on Friday.

The 20-year-old Hyderabadi, ranked 34 places above No 80 Shvedova, could face another Russian and former top-10 player, Nadia Petrova, in the second round.

Sania, who became the first Indian woman to win a round at the French Open this year, lost to Shvedova 7-6, 4-6, 4-6 in the semi-finals in Bangalore before the lanky Russian emerged a surprise winner in the southern Indian city in February.

Late in February, Sania sustained a knee injury, which kept her out of the game for nine weeks. The performance at Roland Garros is the only encouraging result in an otherwise disappointing show by the Indian post-injury.

This week, she was ousted by Francesca Schiavone in the first round of the preparatory event for Wimbledon, the Ordina Open in Holland.

In the doubles, Sania has teamed with Israel's Shahar Peer. The duo, seeded 16th, will take on Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson and Lilia Osterloh of the United States in the first round.

India's flag-bearers at Grand Slams for a long time, Leander Paes [Images] and Mahesh Bhupathi [Images] have simpler battles, at least on paper, in their respective doubles matches.

US Open champions Leander Paes and Martin Damm, seeded fifth, have been drawn with Chris Haggard of South Africa and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in the opening round.

Meanwhile, 11th seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Radek Stepanek face Germany's [Images] Christopher Kas and Alexander Peya of Austria.

The only two Indians in the doubles qualifiers, Rohan Bopanna and Shikha Uberoi could not make much impact, as they lost in the first round itself on Wednesday.

Bopanna and his Czech partner Lovro Zovko went down 7-5, 2-6, 8-10 to Flavio Cipolla and Konstantinos Economidis in a rain-affected match that was carried on to the next day.

After stealing the first set from the Greco-Italian pair, Bopanna and Zovko were completely outplayed in the second set. They were already a break down on Tuesday when the match was called off at 1-4 down, but the next day didn't prove any better. Cipolla and Economidis broke Zovko's serves in the eighth game to pocket the set 6-2.

The third set was almost a repeat of Bopanna's singles first round qualifier, when he took the fight to South African Wesley Moodie, ranked more than 100 places above him, before losing the third set 17-19.

Like in the match against Moodie, Bopanna lost his serve in the 17th game with a double-fault. Cipolla-Economidis grabbed the advantage to close out the match 10-8.

In the ladies doubles, Indian Fed Cupper Uberoi and Latvia's Liga Dekmeijere could not live up to their billing, going down to British wildcards Anna Fitzpatrick and Emily Webley-Smith 6-3, 3-6, 3-6.

Uberoi let her nerves dictate, committing too many unforced errors as the duo struggled to sweep away the ordinary British pair.