Sania goes down to Hantuchova at Medibank
The Indian pulled off a set, but failed to beat the challenge of world number 17.india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 15:50 IST
Sania Mirza pulled off a set before going down fighting against world number 17 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the first round of the Medibank International Open in Sydney on Monday.
Sania, playing in her first WTA Tour match of the season, went down 4-6, 6-2,2-6 to US Open mixed doubles champion in a Centre Court match at the USD 600,000 event.
The 19-year old Hyderabadi, world ranked 34, had marked her return to the courts with an high profile exhibition event in Hong Kong last week after a back strain broughther2005 season to an early end.
"I think I have recovered sufficiently from the back problem as I had no problems with it," Sania told PTI.
The Hong Kong event featured three of the four reigning Grand Slam champions and Sania got to play two singles and as many doubles matches, pairing up with world number two Kim Clijsters.
Sania failed to win a set in that event but felt she was still finding her match rhythm after a tough three-week workout with Tony Roche in Sydney during the winter break.
"It will take me a few months for sure in match pressure situations before I expect to be confident with what I am trying to execute. But for a start -- pretty good," Sania said of what she had picked from her training under Roche.
On the new shoes custom-designed by Lotto that she has started using only last week, Sania said, "I am a lot more comfortable in them than I ever was."
First Published: Jan 09, 2006 14:53 IST