Sania through to the second round in Wimbledon (Lead)

June 24th, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  


London, June 24 (IANS) Sania Mirza overcame back spasm and patchy form to prevail over a resilient Catalina Castano of Colombia in three sets to move into the second round of the women’s singles in the Wimbledon championships here Tuesday. Sania, seeded 32nd, beat Castano 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-5 in more than two hours at the All England Club here. She will play Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain in the second round. Maria, ranked 101, beat German Martina Muller 6-1, 6-1.

The Indian, who was not in top form, having come back in the circuit following a wrist surgery just a fortnight ago, was error-prone but in between showed flashes of brilliance to cross the first hurdle.

Midway through the match, Sania took treatment for a back spasm but kept her nerves in the decider to overcome the spirited challenge of unseeded Castano, ranked 146.

Sania shrugged off a slow start to win a keenly contested first set. She struggled with her serve and was pushed to the wall by Castano in her service games.

In fact, Sania had to save two break points on her very first serve. The Indian, though, drew first blood when she produced some delectable winners to break Castano in the fifth game.

But the 28-year-old Colombian broke back in the next game when Sania double-faulted to hand her two break points and then netted a forehand.

Both players traded breaks in seventh and eight game and then held their serves to take the set into a tie-break. Sania, however, came out all guns blazing in the tie-breaker to win it 7-3.

And just when it looked that Sania is getting into the groove, Castano upped her game to break Sania in the first and the fifth game to go 4-1 up.

It was here that Sania called her trainer and took a treatment for a back spasm. On return, Sania was broken in the ninth game as Castano levelled the score.

The third set saw Sania break Castano twice to take a comfortable 5-2 lead.

Serving for the match in the eight game, Sania met a strong resistance from Castano, who broke her and then kept her service intact to keep her hopes alive.

Sania wrapped up the match on her serve in the next game when the Colombian hit a return long.

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