Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands made an early exit from the Madrid Open after losing their second round match in straight sets to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova.
The fifth seed Indo-American pair lost 5-7, 1-6 to the unseeded Russian-Czech pair in one hour and 10 minutes in the second round of the ¤4,033,254 clay court event.
Sania and Bethanie could convert just two of the eighth break chances they had against their rivals while dropped their serve on six occasions.
Sania and her partner shared ¤12,000 as prize money and earned 140 ranking points each.
Before the French Open, the duo have two more tournaments — Rome and Brussels — to tune up their game on the red clay. The Roland Garros is slated to begin from May 26.
Easy for stars
Rafael Nadal edged closer to a possible Madrid Masters semi-final showdown against old rival Roger Federer on Thursday by easing past Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny and into the last eight.
World number five Nadal saw off Youzhny 6-2, 6-3 and will next face either Tommy Haas of Germany or Spanish compatriot David Ferrer.
On the women’s side, world number one Serena Williams eased into the last eight as she dismantled 13th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1 in just an hour and four minutes.
World number two Maria Sharapova, who has yet to drop a set, continued her stroll into the quarter-finals as she overcame Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5.
“I think when you win a Grand Slam on a surface, it would be pretty mean of me to say that I’m not comfortable on the surface,” said Sharapova.
“It took me many years to get to the level of where I am today. It certainly didn’t happen overnight,” she added.
Divij, Purav in semis
Kunming, china: Divij Sharan and Purav Raja won the first round and then got a walk over to progress to the semifinal of the $125,000 ATP Challenger tournament.
The third seeded pair, looking for their second title of the season, carved out a hard fought 4-6 6-3 10-7 win over Hsin-Han Lee and Hsien-Yin Peng of Chinese Taipei in the opening round.
They were supposed to play Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland and Tatsuma Ito of Japan in the quarter finals but Ito pulled out due to a broken tooth. They now face the winners of the match between Aussies Samuel Groth and John-Patrick Smith and China’s Xin Gao and Zhe Li.