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Rediff.com  » Sports » Aus Open: Sania, Somdev lose in first round

Aus Open: Sania, Somdev lose in first round

Last updated on: January 17, 2011 16:40 IST

Sania Mirza created a flutter before losing to former World No 1 and 11th seed Justine Henin in the first round of the women's singles at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Monday.

The Indian ace won the first set, but failed to capitalise on the good start and went down 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Sania had made it to the third round of the tournament in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 she won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open when she and Mahesh Bhupathi beat Nathalie Dechy of France) and Andy Ram of Israel 6–3, 6–1 in the mixed doubles final.

Earlier in the day, India's rising star Somdev Devvarman went down fighting to Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-7(4), 3-6, 4-6 in a first round men's singles match.

Ranked 108, the Commonwealth and Asian Games champion did threaten the world No 52 Robredo, who was once ranked as high as No 5, but eventually failed to sustain in a contest that lasted two hours and 37 minutes.

The gutsy 25-year-old Indian, who was handed a wild card after his impressive performance last year, tested the Spianrd in the first set, but the latter drew on all his experience to ultimately prevail 7-6.

Somdev, making his debut in the Australian Open, could not overcome the first round jinx this year, as he had lost in the Aircel Chennai Open tournament opening round as well in the beginning of 2011.