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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports shorts: Sania-Black surprise; India up in FIFA rankings

Sports shorts: Sania-Black surprise; India up in FIFA rankings

Last updated on: March 13, 2014 19:33 IST

Sports shorts: Sania-Black surprise; India up in FIFA rankings

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Sania Mirza and Cara Black of Zimbabwe shocked second seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia to enter the women's doubles semi-finals at the Indian Wells tournament.

The fifth seeded Indo-Zimbabwe pair needed 71 minutes for a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

They will meet eighth seeds Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic and China’s Jie Zheng in their first semi-final of the season.


Image: Sania Mirza and Cara Black of Zimbabwe
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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Paes-Stepanek lose to Federer-Wawrinka

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However, it was the end of the road for Sania’s compatriot Leander Paes.

He and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek went down fighting to the Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in the men's doubles quarter-finals.

The unseeded Swiss stars needed a super tie-breaker to beat the fourth seeded Indo-Czech pair 3-6, 7-6(6), 4-10 after 79 minutes.


Image: Radek Stepanek (left) and Leander Paes
Photographs: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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Federer-Warwinka converted two of three break-points to prevail

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While Paes-Stepanek could convert just one out of three break-points, Federer-Warwinka converted two of three to prevail over their higher seeded opponents.

In the semi-finals, the Swiss combo will meet Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

With Paes crashing out of the event, India's campaign in the men's tournament ended, as Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi had already lost to the same Swiss opponents earlier in the tournament.


Image: Roger Federer (left) and Stanislas Wawrinka
Photographs: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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Saina, Kashyap, Pawar advance in Basel

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Saina Nehwal made a winning start to her campaign in the women's singles at the Swiss Grand Prix Gold tournament in Basel even as male shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap and Anand Pawar eased into the third round.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina had things her way while overcoming qualifier Chisato Hoshi of Japan.

The sixth seeded Indian won 21-12, 21-12 in 34 minutes, and will take on Sashina Vignes Waran of France later on Wednesday, while seventh seed P V Sindhu, the other Indian in fray in the women's singles, is up against Canada’s Li Michelle.

In the men’s singles, Kashyap, seeded third, took 33 minutes to dispose off Lukas Schmidt of Germany 21-15, 21-14 and secure a place in the pre-quarter-finals.


Image: Saina Nehwal
Photographs: Getty Images

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India rise to 152 in FIFA rankings; Spain No 1

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India gained two places following the 2-2 drawn international friendly against Bangladesh early this month and moved to 152 in the latest FIFA rankings.

The Sunil Chhetri-led team secured 43 points from that match, in Goa, giving India 138 cumulative average points.

Riding on their recent successes, Afghanistan remained the highest-ranked team among South Asian countries by jumping 11 spots to 127th. India is in second place among South Asian Football Federation countries.

Iran is the top-ranked Asian country at 42nd, followed by Japan (48th), Uzbekistan (55th), Korea Republic (60th), United Arab Emirates (61st), Australia (63rd), Jordan (66th), Saudi Arabia (75th), Oman (81st) and China (98th).

Spain continues to head the world rankings, followed by Germany, Argentina, Portugal, Colombia, Uruguay, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil and Belgium.


Image: Sunil Chhetri (right) leads the Indian squad out against Bangladesh
Photographs: AIFF Media

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