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Rediff.com  » Sports » Pennetta whitewashes Sania to enter third round

Pennetta whitewashes Sania to enter third round

Last updated on: September 03, 2009 00:18 IST

Sania MirzaIndia's Sania Mirza offered no excuses following her 6-0, 6-0 whitewash at the hands of 10th seed Flavia Pennetta at the US Open on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Mirza had no chance against the in-form Pennetta, the first Italian woman to reach the world's top 10.

"If she plays like that, she's going to win the Open," Mirza told reporters following the 50-minute, second-round blow-out under sunny skies at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"I wasn't thinking, 'I'm playing such horrible tennis'. She had an answer for everything. That's something you just have to deal with and move on. Tomorrow's a new day."

While Pennetta has been riding a hot streak, winning the title in Los Angeles last month, world number 74 Mirza has been playing most of her tennis on the ITF circuit, a level below the main tour.

The first set was over in 22 minutes and though Mirza had a game point in the first and fifth games of the second, she could not get on the scoreboard.

Mirza said she could not recall ever getting blanked in a tennis match, even as a junior.

"I could have been more aggressive but then again she didn't give me a chance to do anything," said Mirza.

"She was there from the word go. She was so aggressive."

The 27-year-old Pennetta, who lost only four games in her first-round match against Romania's Edina Gallovits, had only 10 unforced errors against Mirza.

Mirza said Pennetta always had a great backhand but her improved forehand has made her particularly dangerous.

"Suddenly you're thinking, 'What do I do now?' She's hitting from both the flanks and she's hitting really well," said the Mumbai-born Mirza.

"She was all over the place.

"I told her in the locker room, 'If you play like this you're going to be number one in the world'."

The first-round victories by Mirza and Somdev Devvarman marked the first time that a man and woman from India reached the second round of the same Grand Slam event.

Devvarman will face 23rd-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany with a berth in the third round at stake.

Asia did have a representative in the third round of the Open when China's 18th seed Li Na defeated Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal 6-1, 6-3 in 65 minutes.

Photograph: Jay Mandal

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