|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Sania stutters into second round
June 24, 2008 19:25 IST
Sania Mirza [Images] overcame an injury scare and a spirited challenge from unseeded Catalina Castano of Colombia to advance to the second round of the Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday.
The Indian ace, seeded 32, looked rusty from her recent injury lay-off but came good at crucial moments to score a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 win over Castano, who has now failed to cross the first round in all her six attempts at Wimbledon.
Sania will next face Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who beat Martina Muller of Germany [Images] 6-1, 6-1 earlier in the day.
After saving two break-points in her first game, Sania went into the lead after a break in the fifth game. The next three games went against the serve before the players restored order to push the first set into a tie-break.
Sania's attacking instincts paid off in the tie-break as she came through 7-3.
But Castano stepped it up in the second set and pranced to a 5-1 lead. Sania called for on-court treatment at 1-4 down and struggled with her serve thereafter, giving up the sixth game with two double-faults.
Castano failed to serve out the set on the first attempt but a Sania forehand error in the ninth game helped the Colombian level the match.
Castano, however, could not build on the momentum she had gained. Sania looking to keep the points short, went for the kill at every given opening and more often than not succeeded in putting her opponent out of place, if not completely overpower her.
The players traded breaks in the third and fourth games, but Sania took charge later on and built a 5-2 lead.
Castano made a last stab at a comeback when she broke Sania's serve in the eighth game and held nervously a game later, but it was too little too late. The Indian closed out the match 6-4 in the third set after two hours and 16 minutes.
While the match saw 13 breaks of serve, the players also dished 29 unforced errors each.