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Sania no match for Venus

Indian hopes were dashed when Venus trounced Sania in the first round. In pics

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 22:09 IST

Wimbledon champion Venus Williams overcame an injury scare to down Indian sensation Sania Mirza 6-3, 6-3 in the Champions Challenge on Wednesday.

The five-time Grand Slam winner was struggling at a break down in the first set before leaving the court for 11 minutes of treatment to her left hip.

But Williams, who had not played since pulling out of the China Open in September with a knee injury, broke the teenager three times in a row on her return.

It was a cruel turn of events for Mirza (19)who had capitalised on some erratic serving to break Williams in the first gameof the exhibition tournament.

But with the Indian 3-2 up and eyeing a one-set lead, Williams called for the trainer and disappeared off-court clutching a handbag.

Rejuvenated by her break, Williams immediately broke twice before serving out at 6-3.

Mirza, the first Indian woman to win a WTA tour event, went another break down at the start of the second before breaking back for 2-2 as Williams double-faulted.

The Indian world number 34, buoyed by strong local support, found another break but could not hold her own serve, double-faulting and putting a backhand pass wide to go 4-3 down.

Serving to stay in the match, she was broken again as Williams converted her third match point.

It was Williams' second win over Mirza in two meetings after her 6-3, 6-2 victory in Stanford, California, last year.

However, she will want to improve on her erratic display at the Australian Open later this month.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 17:54 IST