Sania, Sunitha knocked out of women’s doubles

August 13th, 2008 - 11:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 13 (IANS) Sania Mirza and Sunitha Rao crashed out of the Olympic tennis competition, losing to top-seeded Russians Svetlana Kuznentsova and Dinara Safina 4-6, 4-6 in the second round match at Olympic Green Stadium here Wednesday. Sania, who had retired hurt in women’s singles first round after a recurrence of pain on her right wrist, was doubtful till even a few hours before the match. But considering what a great experience it would be for Sunitha, she did take the court.

The Indian pair began in a whirlwind manner, twice breaking the Russians in first and third games. They broke Dinara’s serve in the first game and then Sunitha held her serve to go 2-0 up.

With the Russians continuing to make mistakes, the Indians stunned them with a second successive break on Kuznetsova’s serve to go up 3-0.

But that’s where it all ended, as the Kuznetsova and Safina re-grouped themselves and won the next four games in a row and twice broke the Indians to get their breaks back. First Sania lost her serve at love and then with Dinara holding her serve it was 2-3. Then the Russians broke Sunitha to reach parity.

Kuznetsova held her serve and so did Sania to make it 4-4. But thereafter, pressure got the better of Indians as Sunitha lost her serve to lose the set in 43 minutes.

In the second set, both pairs held their serves to make it 1-1 before the Indian cracked Dinara’s serve to get the crucial break. But Sunitha conceded the advantage.

Kuznetsova lost her serve again to give the Indians the a 3-2 lead. Indians looked in control at 4-2 but squandered the lead. The Russians shifted gears and won the next four games in succession to wrap up the second set in 42 minutes.

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