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Sania enters Pattaya Open final

India's Sania Mirza fought her way through a gruelling three-set semifinal at the Pattaya Open on Saturday, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 for the chance to take on top seed Vera Zvonareva for the trophy.

sports Updated: Feb 15, 2009 13:08 IST

India's Sania Mirza fought her way through a gruelling three-set semifinal at the Pattaya Open on Saturday, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 for the chance to take on top seed Vera Zvonareva for the trophy.

Mirza sought to show off past glories as she took on up-and-coming talent Magdalena Rybarikova, but the Slovakian fought back hard in a match that took more than two hours and enthralled the crowd in Thailand's southern gulf.

Mirza used her big forehand to take the first set 6-4 and maintained her momentum to hold a 5-3 lead in the second set before Rybarikova upped her tempo and broke back to eventually take the set 7-5.

But the effort Rybarikova had mustered took its toll and she needed attention from her trainer for a back injury in the deciding set. The injury appeared to hamper the Slovakian's movement and she lost the final set 6-1 to secure Mirza her first spot in a tournament final since Stamford in 2007.

Mirza will now be up against Russia's Zvonareva in Sunday's deciding match after the top seed cruised to an easy 6-0, 6-1 win against Israel's Shahar Peer. The resurgent Peer had been expected to give Zvonareva a real test but instead the favourite raced to a 5-0 lead before Peer could get a game on the board and the set was quickly wrapped up 6-1.

Seventh-seed Peer found her rhythm in the second and the match went with serve until the seventh game when Zvonareva broke Peer's resistance.

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