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Rybarikova stops Sania in semis

Last updated on: June 13, 2009 20:44 IST

Sania's Mirza's winning run at the AEGON Classic came to a halt in the semi-finals when she was beaten by Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 0-6, 3-6 in Birmingham on Saturday.

After Maria Sharapova was beaten 4-6, 4-6 by fourth seed Li Na of China in the first semi-final, it was the Indian ace who called the shots at the outset against the 13th seed as she took the first set 6-3 in 27 minutes.

However, she committed too many unforced errors thereafter and was broken twice in the second, as 20-year-old Rybarikova raced to a 4-0 lead. The Slovak then held serve before breaking the Indian for a third time to take the set 6-0.

Rybarikova maintained the pressure and broke Sania again in the second game of the third set, but the Indian returned the break immediately.

Games then went with serve till Rybarikova effected another break in the eighth game to go 5-3 and serve out the next game for set and match in an hour and 35 minutes.

Sania had beaten Rybarikova in their only previous meeting on the hard courts of Pattaya 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.

In the quarter-finals, Rybarikova had defeated Polish teenager Urszula Radwanska 6-3, 6-3 while Mirza reached her first grass court semi-final after battling past Hungary's Melinda Czink 6-1, 7-6(4).