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Mirza wilts in US Open thriller

Sania lost 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in second round, banishing her hopes of emulating last year's magical run at Flushing Meadows.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2006 23:33 IST

Sania Mirza went out of the US Open at the second round stage on Thursday failing to capitalise on a promising start against 14th seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone.

The 19-year-old from Hyderabad lost 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in 2hrs 18mins banishing her hopes of emulating last year's magical run to the fourth round where she lost to Maria Sharapova.

Mirza came into the match as the underdog, having struggled to reproduce her best form all season.

And in the 26-year-old Schiavone, whom she was playing for the first time, she was up against one of the most experienced and wily players on the WTA circuit.

But the Indian got off to a remarkable start using her trademark forehand drives to break the Italian's serve twice as she moved out into a 4-1 lead.

It was short-lived though as two sloppy service games from Mirza allowed Schiavone to get back on level terms.

The match was finely poised when Mirza produced her best tennis of the match to earn three break points at 5-5, converting the second with a tremendous, under-pressure backhand passing shot down the line.

This time she held firm to take the set 7-5 when Schiavone netted an attempted drop-shot.

A disputed service line-call annulled a break point for Mirza in the first game of the second set and she paid the price shortly after as Schiavone broke to take a 2-0 lead.

The Italian seized her opportunity with both hands breaking an increasingly ragged Mirza again to take a 4-0 lead before the Indian steadied her ship.

A break back gave her hope in the set, but her serve was wayward and Schiavone made it three breaks in a row as she levelled at 6-1.

Mirza took a time-out at the start of the deciding set, but it did little good as Schiavone jumped out into a vital 2-0 and then 4-1 lead.

There was no way back from that black hole for Mirza as the Italian used all her savvy to move in for the kill.

First Published: Aug 31, 2006 23:28 IST