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Sania defeats Maria in Birmingham

Sania Mirza defeats Maria Elena Camrin in the singles 1st round of DFS Classic tennis tournament in Birmingham.

sports Updated: Jun 12, 2007 11:56 IST

Unseeded Sania Mirza carved out a fine 6-3 6-3 victory against Maria Elena Camrin of Italy in the singles first round of the USD 200,000 DFS Classic tennis tournament in Birmingham.

Sania did not have an ideal start to her first match on grass after playing on Roland Garros clay in Paris as she trailed 1-3 in the first set against the world number 66 in the tier III event on Monday.

"You have to expect that, coming off clay and playing on a new surface," said the Indian star after her one-hour 28-minute contest.
"It was my first match and it wasn't one of the easier matches I could have got in the first round. She's a seasoned player. I knew she was going to be tough and there's always a little anxiety when you go on the court on a new surface for the first time," she said.

The world number 42 said she was satisfied that she played important points well.

"In the circumstances I played an alright match. It's not one of the better matches I've played but at the end of the day it's how you play the important points and I think that's what I did better today."

Sania also said she had completely recovered from the knee injury she was nursing for over three months.

"I think that's one of the reasons I was a little tight in the start of the match - thinking about my knee slightly.
"It's hard after three-and-a-half months playing without tape and psychologically you don't have the confidence to know how your knee is going to handle it and whether you'll injure it again.

"Touch wood, I finished the whole match and I don't feel anything in my knee. It feels like: what knee?"

Mirza is next pitted against eight seed Mara Santangelo, also of Italy.

"I'm playing a seed and she's coming off a fresh win at the French Open where she won the doubles," said Mirza.

"I played her a couple of months ago, just before I got injured in Thailand. She's a great friend of mine and it's going to be a fun match."

In the doubles, she will team up with Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and the fourth seeded pair will open their campaign against Tiantian Sun of China and Meilen.