Sania Mirza went down fighting against world number eight and top seed Anna Chakvetadze in the singles semifinal of the USD 175,000 Cincinnati Open tennis tournament.
Sania, who played her fourth three-setter in as many matches, tried hard to keep herself in contention by pulling off the second set but Chakvetadze came back stronger to race out to a 4-0 lead in the decider and eventually sealing the matter.
Making her first semi-final appearance at Cincinnati after quarterfinal exits at each of the last two editions of the tournament, Sania confessed that she ran out of steam towards the end.
"She played a great match; she's a tricky player to play. After the second set, I was mentally drained after playing so many close points. I think my level dropped a bit and hers raised and when you are playing the Top 10 you can't afford to do that," she said.
Chakvetadze, who fought back from 4-1 down in the second set only to get pushed to a third, said Sania did not play well.
"It was really up and down on both sides. In the first set she didn't play very well, making a lot of mistakes. In the third, she was more relaxed because she was down 5-0. But overall it was a good match."