A second doubles title this season eluded Sania Mirza as she and Australian Alicia Molik went down in the summit clash of the USD 200,000 WTA Tour event in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday.
The Indo-Aussie combination were beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine and Belarussian Anastasia Yakimova at the clay court event.
This is the third final Sania had reached this season, the earlier two coming at Bangalore Open and Amelia Island in a USD 600,000 event.
On both those occasions, the 19-year old Indian was partnered by Liezel Huber of South Africa. The duo emerged winners at Bangalore but ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline at Amelia Island.
Sania, playing her first tournament after a three-week break, had earlier bowed out of the singles in the second round, but reaching the doubles final should stand her in good stead in terms of match practice ahead of the French Open starting on Monday.
The Hyderabadi girl is set to take on former champion and world number 12 Anastasia Myskina in the first round.