Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sania Mirza gives Venus Williams a fright at Australian Open

A spirited challenge by Sania Mirza wasn't enough to prevent a 6-7, 4-6 loss to current Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the third round of the 2008 Australian Open.

Mirza, whose previous best at Melbourne Park was a third round loss to Venus' sister Serena in 2005, gave millions of Indians hopes of an upset win as a flurry of her forehand winners sailed past the six-time Grand Slam champion.

But Venus wasn't going to let Mirza add to India's quota of impressive wins on Saturday - what with the Indian cricket team thrashing Australia in the Perth test earlier in the day.

The 21-year-old Hyderabadi had begun in promising fashion in a match delayed by several hours, breaking the American's serve at two-all in the first set.

A few minutes later, Mirza was up 5-3 as a Venus serve rocketed past her. She responded with a smile and an outstanding return of serve on the next point. At 30-30, the Indian was two points away from the set and an upset win loomed large.

But it wasn't to be.

The game went to deuce twice before Venus dug in to hold serve and Mirza found herself serving for the set.

A costly error by Mirza at 30-all set up breakpoint for the American. The eighth-seeded Venus revved up a notch, broke back and then sent down a flurry of aces to go up 6-5.

All seemed over when the Indian went down 15-40 but a bunch of winners and Venus errors saw Mirza take the match into the tiebreaker. The number 31 seed was all smiles as an ardent fan shouted "Sensational Sania" and the spectators in the Rod Laver arena settled in for a slugfest.

But the 27-year-old Venus played a flawless tiebreak (7-0) and grabbed the first set in 50 minutes.

Mirza's serve let her down and the more experienced Williams pounced on the Indian's weakness as she kept edging forward inside the baseline to face the weak second serves.

The momentum had clearly shifted in the American's favour but Mirza seemed determined to give a good fight. The opening point of the second set was the best of the match - the 19-shot rally ending in Mirza's favour.

Games went on serve till 3-3 when Williams broke Mirza in a game which saw two points challenged by either player and replayed. A costly doublefault (her fourth of the match) didn't do the Indian any good.

Mirza's unforced errors crept up - she was to make 30 of them in the 92-minute match. And Venus was serving better in the second set with more aces (5), more winners (10) and fewer unforced errors (8).

Her confidence back on track, the elder Williams was soon 5-3 up and two points from victory on the Indian's serve. But Mirza responded with an ace (her only ace of the match) to take the game.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Venus sent down two aces and wrapped up the match on the first of her three matchpoints.

1 comment:

  1. Dear,Friend
    Sania Mirza is a Indian tennis player. She was born in Mumbai & now lives in Hyderabad.

    Coached by her father Imran Mirza, she began playing tennis at the age of six, turning

    professional in 2003. She was the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India,

    with career high rankings of number 31 in singles & 24 in doubles.
    Please Visit For More Deatil


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