Sania Mirza sizzled for a while before running out of steam as Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko tamed the Indian in the second round of the USD 600,000 Pilot Pen tennis tournament at New Haven, USA.
Sania's show yo-yoed during the match that lasted about one and half hours and the Indian, who did not drop a single game in the second set, eventually crashed out with a 3-6, 6-0, 3-6 defeat.
After Bondarenko had bagged the first set, Sania hit back with vengeance, breaking her opponent thrice in the second to force the decider.
In the third set, however, Bondarenko prevailed, tightening her grip over proceedings as she broke the Indian twice to pocket the set and the match.
In contrast, Sania squandered five break points in the all-important decider and had to pay dearly.
Meanwhile, though her singles hopes are over, Sania and her Italian partner Mara Santagelo reached the quarter-finals in women's doubles after they downed the American pair of Corina Morariu and Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4, 7-5.
The Sania-Mara duo will have to get the better of the Slovak-Swiss pair of Janette Husarova and Patty Schnyder to reach the semi-finals.
Photograph: Getty Images