Sania Mirza's comeback from injury ended in agony but Sunitha Rao's dream run continued as she advanced to the quarterfinals of the USD 200,000 WTA DFS Classic in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Sania, seeded sixth, went down 3-6 0-6 to New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.
The sixth seeded Indian, who had been laid low by a wrist injury that needed to be operated upon in the US, went down in just an hour.
However, Sunitha, a qualifier, continued her winning run as she rallied to beat local challenger Naomi Cavaday 4-6 6-3 6-1. The US-based Indian will take on the winner of the match between sixth seed Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko and Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual in the last-eight stage.
But it was heartbreak for Sania, who was handed a bye in the first round here, as she never found her footing in the match and was outplayed by her Kiwi opponent in all departments of the game, marking a disappointing start to her build-up for the Wimbledon Grand Slam Championship later this month.
Sania has teamed up with American Bethanie Mattek in the doubles, and the fourth-seeded pair will be up against Natalie Grandin of South Africa and American Raquel Kops-Jones in the opening round.