Sania tames fifth seed Anastasia to make singles quarters
Sania Mirza eked out her second best performance of the year by reaching the quarter-finals of the $220,000 Aegon Classic in Birmingham after stunning Russian fifth seed and world number 31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a three-set contest.sports Updated: Jun 12, 2009 15:15 IST
Sania Mirza eked out her second best performance of the year by reaching the quarter-finals of the $220,000 Aegon Classic in Birmingham after stunning Russian fifth seed and world number 31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a three-set contest.
The unseeded Indian took two hours to dispatch her tired opponent 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-2 in the third round on Thursday night.
Earlier in the day, Anastasia had to toil hard on court for two hour and 31 minutes to carve out a 6-7 (1) 6-3, 7-6 (3) win against British wild card Elena Baltacha in the second round.
Sania's win was her best result since making the final of the Pattaya Open in February. She has been struggling to reach the later stages of WTA events in the last few months.
In four tournaments, including the Australian Open, she was ousted in the second round and on three other occasions, she failed to cross the first-round hurdle.
At the Madrid Masters, her campaign was cut short in the qualifying event.
At the second Grand Slam of the year -- the French Open -- she made a shocking first round exit.
Shrugging off the her recent lean patch, Sania looks better prepared for the grass court season.
In the first set, Sania broke her rival twice but dropped her serve as many times and the issue had to be settled via a tie-breaker.
The second set saw a reversal of sorts as the Russian broke Sania twice and saved two breakpoints.
Sania got her act together in the decisive third set and not only converted both the break points that came her way but also saved the only breakpoint she faced to seal the match.