Sania Mirza missed out on winning her second Grand Slam title as she and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina lost the French Open women's doubles final to unseeded Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka on Friday.
Unforced errors cost the seventh seed Indo-Russian pair dearly as it lost the summit clash 4-6, 3-6 in one hour and 21 minutes at Court Suzanne Lenglen here.
It was a good opportunity for Sania to add a women's doubles title to her Australian Open mixed doubles trophy, which she had won along with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009, but it turned out to be an off day for the Indian and her partner Vesnina.Still a feat
Nevertheless, Sania did create a history of sorts by becoming first Indian female tennis player to reach the women's doubles final. Vesnina struggled with her first serve throughout and Sania's feeble shots at the net only helped the cause of the Czech pair.
Even the Czech players, especially Andrea, struggled with the first serve in windy conditions but the Indo-Russian pair committed more unforced errors. A strong show by Lucie turned out to be the real difference between the two teams, as she did not drop her serve even once and had good control over her strokes.
Sania prevented a first-set rout, holding serve in the seventh game when they were down 1-5. They made it 4-5 after breaking Andrea in the eighth game, raising hopes of a comeback.
But Lucie served out the first set in the 10th game when the Russian hit a backhand long on the second set point. Lucie had committed a double-fault on first set point, but an unforced error by Sania gave the opponents a second chance, which they converted thanks to Vesnina's long backhand.
The second set too started badly for Sania and Vesnina as the Russian dropped serve to hand a mini-lead and then she could not hold her serve even once.
Sania raised her game in the second set and created opportunities but Vesnina had a poor day. They had a chance to turn the tables when they broke Andrea in the fourth game and had two breakpoints against the same player in the eighth game to make it 4-4, but Lucie, yet again, played well and denied the rivals a comeback.
Lucie hit a volley winner to win the match on second match point. Vesnina and Sania split euro 1,65,000 as prize money, while the winners took home euro 3,30,000.
Vesnina thanked her Indian partner and hinted that this partnership will continue.
"Thanks Sania for the great experience we've had here. Hope we'll have more of such games in the future," Vesnina said after the match.