Sania Mirza crashed out of the US $2 million Dubai Open, losing her second round match 5-7, 2-6 to world No 24 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Tuesday.
Second seed Dinara Safina of Russia was a major casualty, shocked by Virginie Razzano of France 6-4, 6-2, while sixth seed Venus Williams of the United States easily made it to the third round, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-0, 6-1.
Playing her third match in as many days, Sania squandered a 4-2 lead in the opening set and never recovered after being broken in the eighth game.
The Indian ace converted a second break-point in the third game to break the world number 24 and surge ahead and then rallied from 0-30 in the next game, winning four points in a row, to make it 3-1.
However, the Estonian raised her game and kept herself in the battle by holding serve in the fifth and seventh games before breaking the Hyderabadi in the eighth and holding her serve in the next to make it 5-4.
The match grew in intensity as both the players fought hard for each point. Sania saved a set point in the 10th game to keep her challenge alive in the first set but could not hold in the 12th game and handed the first set to Kanepi after 43 minutes.
Sania struggled to hold her serve at the start of the second set and was outplayed by Kanepi. The Indian saved four break-points in the second game but could not stop Kanepi from converting the fifth and was broken again in the fourth game to hand the Estonian a healthy 4-0 lead.
Sania broke Kanepi in the seventh game to cut the lead to 2-5 from 0-5 but it was difficult to erase the huge deficit.
She kept fighting, saving three match-points in the eighth game, but Kanepi soon wrapped up the issue by converting the fourth chance.
Sania will get 60 WTA ranking points and prize-money of US $10,275 for making the second round.