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Sania, Somdev surge ahead to R2

Sania Mirza sent out a strong signal of intent when she eliminated fifth seed Shahar Peer of Israel in the first round of the Japan Open on Monday.

sports Updated: Oct 13, 2009 01:50 IST

Sania Mirza sent out a strong signal of intent when she eliminated fifth seed Shahar Peer of Israel in the first round of the Japan Open on Monday.

The 22-year-old Mirza needed one hour 52 minutes to complete a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over her frequent doubles partner. Mirza will take on Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine in the second round.

Eighth seed Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan fell to France's Mathilde Johansson 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, but fourth seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy and seventh seed Melinda Czink of Hungary safely went through.

Schiavone outclassed Anne Kremer of Luxembourg 7-5, 6-2, while Czink dispatched Japanese wild card entrant Ryoko Fuda 6-4, 6-4.

In other first-round action, Britain's Katie O'Brien breezed past Alexa Glatch of the United States 6-3, 6-4.

Somdev through to R2 OF ATP CHALLENGER

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Seventh-seeded Somdev Devvarman beat Spainard Gillermo Olaso 6-3, 6-2 while compatriot Rohan Bopanna went down to Chinese Taipei's Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4, 6-2 in the $125,000 Tashkent Challenger.

It turned out to be a one-sided affair for Somdev. He broke Olaso in the sixth game of the match in the first set and in the third and the seventh games of the second set. The Indian next plays the winner of the match between Latvian Deniss Pavlovs and Russian Alexandre Kudryavtsev.

In the other match, Bopanna was broken by Lu in the seventh game of the first set and then twice in the second set.

Yuki achieves highest ever career ranking

New Delhi: Indian Yuki Bhambri on Monday broke the 350-rank barrier, jumping 57 places to get to a career-best ranking of 346 in the latest ATP list.

With this jump, Bhambri has become India's third highest ranked player in singles. Somdev Devvarman is the highest ranked player at 131, a drop of two positions from last week. Prakash Amritraj is the number two player for India at 223, a gain of six slots.

Serena dethrones Safina as World No. 1

Miami: Serena Williams of the United States returned to the top of the women's tennis rankings in the latest list issued Monday by the WTA, dethroning Russian Dinara Safina by a mere five points.

Blake comes back to beat Karlovic

Shanghai: James Blake rallied to beat Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the first round of the Shanghai Masters. The American was broken early in the first set but won the second when Karlovic sent a forehand wide in the tiebreaker.

“I didn't have very good momentum at the start,” said Blake. “The third set, I liked the way, when I did get my racket on it, how I was playing.”

Despite serving 27 aces, he allowed Blake to break serve in the third and ninth games of the third set. Karlovic, who holds the record for serving the 78 aces in a match during a five-set loss to Radek Stepanek in the Davis Cup semifinals last month, double-faulted on the final point.

Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer advanced to the second round with straight-set wins