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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sania makes first round exit at French Open

Sania makes first round exit at French Open

Last updated on: May 26, 2009 19:39 IST

Sania Mirza fell at the first hurdle at the French Open, losing to Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva in Paris on Tuesday.

The 91-ranked Indian ace was well and truly beaten 4-6, 6-7 (3-7) by the 95-ranked Khazak player in a little over 90 minutes.

Voskoboeva will meet Svetlana Kuznetsova, who proved to good for French wildcard Claire Feuerstein, winning 6-1, 6-4 in another first round match earlier.

Sania committed six double faults in the first set and failed to convert any of the four break-points she had as Voskoboeva got the all-important break in the seventh game to take the set in 46 minutes.

In the second set, the Indian ace performed a shade better. After losing serve twice, she broke back to take the set into the tie-breaker, but Voskoboeva then called the shots in the shoot-out, clinching it 7-3.

Sania, who has not played much on clay this season, had missed the French Open last year due to a wrist injury that plagued her most of last season. She returned to the circuit in January and won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi and then went on to reach the final of the Pattaya Open the following month.

Sania will team up with Taipei's Chia-Jung Chuang in the doubles. The 14th seeded pair open their campaign against the Turk-Belgian pair of Ipek Senoglu and Yanina Wickmayer.

Russian seventh seed Kuznetsova, runner-up in 2006, broke twice to race to a 5-1 lead in the first set before rain interrupted play.

When the 23-year-old pair returned to the Suzanne Lenglen Court some two hours later, Kuznetsova quickly served out the set and broke in the third game of the second.

If Feuerstein had initially seemed daunted by the 229-place difference in their world rankings, she asserted herself more in the second set, breaking the Russian in the fourth game.

Kuznetsova, whose passing shots left her opponent often rooted to the spot, broke again the seventh and eventually sealed victory on her third matchpoint with a powerful forehand that was too good for Feuerstein.