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Wimbledon: Sania loses in singles first round

Last updated on: June 21, 2011 20:40 IST

Sania Mirza was beaten in the opening round of the women's singles at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The No 60-ranked Indian ace was handed a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 3-6 defeat in 132 minutes by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano, who is ranked 36 rungs below her.

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This was Sania's third exit in the first round, last year included, in seven appearances at the All-England Club.

Sania should have won the first set, having served for it at 5-4, but lost the tie-break narrowly.

But she regained composure and appeared to have the match under control when she broke Razzano early in the second set to go up 2-0 and broke again when Razzano served at 2-5 to stay in the set.

Sania Mirza in her first round match at Wimbledon on TuesdayHowever, the 24-year-old Hyderabadi, whose best showing at Wimbledon is a second round appearance in 2005, '07, '08, '09, failed to hold serve in the seventh game of the decider, despite saving two break-points, and made an early exit from the grasscourt championships.

Sania is seeded fourth with her Russian partner Elena Vesnina in the women's doubles. They meet the American-Russian duo of Melanie Oudin and Anna Chakvetadze in the first round.

Meanwhile, defending champion Serena Williams survived a wobble before beating Aravane Rezai 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

The American seventh seed lost the first two games of the match before finding her range, sending her French opponent ranked 61st in the world scampering around Centre Court with a barrage of powerful groundstrokes.

The 29-year-old Williams, playing only her third match since returning to action following serious injury and health problems, struggled for rhythm in the second set and Rezai took full advantage.

But Williams, bidding for her third Wimbledon title in a row and fifth overall, regrouped to make an early break in the deciding set and book her place in the second round.

Photograph: Reuters