Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sania Mirza enters third round at US Open

Sania Mirza has set a date with Russian Anna Chakvetadze at the US Open after battling past American Laura Granville 6-3, 7-5 in an error-strewn second round match in which both players struggled to hold their serve.

Mirza, the first Indian woman to be seeded at the US Open, had been tipped to win easily against Granville, at 26 the proverbial underachiever. But the 20-year-old Indian was her own worst enemy - making 33 unforced errors in the one hour 22 minute match.

Mirza, wearing the same red-and-white dress she wore in the first round against Estonian Kaia Kanepi, started by losing her first service game on the Louis Armstrong court.

But she broke right back and then held serve in the third game of the first set - winning a slugfest of a rally and finishing the game with an ace.

Mirza's game came apart in the fourth game and a couple of unforced errors helped Granville hold her serve and even the set at two games apiece.

Both players were serving well but there was no stopping the unforced errors. In the next game, Mirza saved two breakpoints to lead 3-2.

The following three games went the whole hog with neither player able to hold serve. Granville, who doesn't have the same pace as Mirza, compensated by giving the Hyderabadi lass more leeway to commit a slew of forehand errors.

Leading 5-3, Mirza broke the trend in the ninth game, holding her serve to take the first set after 36 minutes of play.

The second set began somewhat like the first with both players breaking each other's service games.

At 1-1, the 26th-seeded Mirza stepped up the pace by reeling off three games in a row, an inopportune double-fault in the fifth game by Granville helping her cause.

Now leading 4-1, Mirza lost concentration on her serve and Granville, irritated by her double-fault in the previous game, began to take more chances around the court. The ploy helped and the world no. 60 broke Mirza's serve for the fourth time in the match.

A resurgent Granville then reeled off some good forehand winners to hold serve and inch closer to Mirza at 4-3.

Two games later at 5-4, Mirza was serving for the match and had two matchpoints at 40-15. Another lapse of concentration by the Indian cost her dearly as she squandered both. Granville won on her second breakpoint to even the set at 5-all.

For a player leading 4-1 and then 5-4, Mirza was rattled but not enough to throw the match away. Granville didn't do herself any favours by serving a double-fault in a crucial service game. Mirza broke to lead 6-5 and get another chance to serve out the match.

This time, she kept her nerves in check, winning a hotly contested rally to set up her third matchpoint and then let out a whoop of excitement as a Granville error sent her into the third round.

Mirza finished with 33 winners compared to 18 by the Chicago-based Granville. Her 6 aces helped her at crucial moments against Granville who served five double-faults to dig her own grave.


Next up for Mirza is her friend Chakvetadze, the world number six and one of the hottest players on the WTA Tour this year. The Russian beat Australian Nicole Pratt 6-3, 6-4 in her second round match.

Mirza drastically needs to reduce the number of unforced errors, which Chakvetadze will be all too eager to take advantage of.

Chakvetadze has always done well at New York, having reached the fourth round last year and the third round in 2004 and 2005. This year, her best on the tour so far, the blonde from Moscow will be hoping to make it all the way to the final four.

Mirza and Chakvetadze have met thrice this year with the Russian winning all three of their battles in 2007. The closest Mirza came to beating Chakvetadze was in the Cincinnati semis where the Russian prevailed 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. That was also the only time the Indian managed to take a set off her Russian nemesis.

Will their US Open match-up throw up any surprises? Well, Mirza's fans will be hoping she has what it takes to move to the fourth round.

Mirza beats Kanepi in US Open first round
Mirza's path to the quarter-finals: Can she make it?


  1. excellent! good for sania. I doubt, like you say, she will beat the russian. But I think even having reached this far is pretty darn competitive of her.

  2. Sania Mirza in Third Round here is Some of her Pics

    Just Copy Link and paste in your browser. is a multi-imagehosting site. It is easy to use just click and upload.


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