Sania-Cara lose plot at crucial moment
Sania Mirza andher Zimbabwean partner Cara Black squandered a position of strength to go down to world number one Italian combo of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in a hard-fought women’s doubles quarterfinal match at the Australian Open here on Tuesday. The sixth-seeded Indo-Zimbabwean combination lost 2-6 6-3 4-6.Updated: Jan 22, 2014 02:07 IST
Sania Mirza andher Zimbabwean partner Cara Black squandered a position of strength to go down to world number one Italian combo of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in a hard-fought women’s doubles quarterfinal match at the Australian Open here on Tuesday. The sixth-seeded Indo-Zimbabwean combination lost 2-6 6-3 4-6.
Sania and Cara, who were leading 4-1 at one stage in the third and deciding set, simply wasted the opportunity to cause a major upset and lost to the higher-ranked opponents in an hour and 48 minutes contest.
The Indo-Zimbabwean pair gave a tough fight to Errani and Vinci as they won a total of 81 points as against 89 by the Italians. But as many as 24 unforced errors dented Sania and Cara’s chances.
However, Sania’s campaign in the mixed doubles event is alive as she has reached quarterfinals with Romanian partner Horia-Tecau, seeded sixth. They will take on Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Julia Goerges from Germnay for a place in the semifinals.
Errani and Vinci lived up to their top billing in the opening set as they comfortably sealed it off by converting three of the five break points, while saving one of the two that their rivals got. But Sania and Cara fought back in the second set to stun the Italian girls.
They hit 11 winners as opposed to eight by the Italians, while they also converted three of the five break points to take the game to the decider. In the final set, they started off with a bang and opened up a 4-1 lead. But just when it seemed that they would wrap it up easily, the top seeds came from behind to make it 4-4. The Italian combo saved six of the eight break points to have the last laugh.
Meanwhile, in the juniors girls doubles, Snehadevi Reddy and Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal lost to top seeds Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine and Russia’s Elizaveta Kulichkova 1-6 2-6.
Mumbai team to compete in IPTL
Melbourne: Five teams, including Mumbai,will compete in the International Premier Tennis League, with Lleyton Hewitt also confirming his participation in the inaugural edition. The matches of the league, brainchild of Mahesh Bhupathi, will be played in Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur and in a middle east city, the name of which has not been announced yet.
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are expected to feature in the first season, scheduled between Nov 28 and Dec 20 with teams playing each other in the home and away format.
First Published: Jan 22, 2014 00:48 IST