India's Sania sails into third round | sports | Hindustan Times
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India's Sania sails into third round

The World No. 31 defeats unseeded Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

sports Updated: Jan 17, 2008 15:32 IST

India's top tennis player Sania Mirza on Thursday moved into the third round of the Australian Open tennis tournament here with a three-set win over Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky.

World No. 31 Sania won 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in one hour and 44 minutes. She prevailed despite committing six double faults, though her first serve was quite successful when she got them in.

In the third round, Sania will face the winner of the match between Chinese Li Na and Italian Maria Elena Camerin, to be played later Thursday.

The Hyderabadi, who is seeded 31st, won 35 points out of 52 on her first serve for a 67 percent success rate. Her win in the second round will give her a major boost after her recovery from a breakdown due to off-court dramas raging back home.

"I'm very pleased to be winning a match like this today because a lot has been happening in the last couple of weeks off the court," said Sania, who served 18 winners in comparison to 20 by her opponent.

"I was down 3-1 30-30 (in the final set) and I could have said I was just mentally not there - it would have been a good excuse - but I proved I am strong and hopefully I can continue to do that."

Sania had been under fire due to criminal cases filed after she was photographed with her bare foot close to an Indian flag bunting at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

The picture unleashed a firestorm, with ultra-nationalists filing suit against the 21-year-old under a law prohibiting any insult to the national tricolour.

Sania has earlier drawn criticism from the Islamic right for playing in short skirts and sleeveless tops and for appearing in a car advertisement shot near a mosque.