Sania to meet Zvonareva in Pattaya Open final (Lead)February 14th, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS
Pattaya (Thailand), Feb 14 (IANS) India’s Sania Mirza held off a second set fightback from the eighth-seeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova to win 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, and enter the Pattaya Open final here Saturday.
Sania will meet top seed Russian Vera Zvonareva, a semifinalist at the Australian Open last month, who outplayed seventh-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel 6-1, 6-4.
Sania has met Zvonarava once at Japan Open in 2005 where she got the better of the Russian in a three setter.
This is the 22-year old Hyderabadi’s first final since the Stanford Open in 2007 where she finished runner-up to Russian Anna Chakvetadze.
Sania, however, failed to make it to the doubles final as she and partner Mara Santangelo of Italy went down 6-2, 2-6, 7-10 to Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
Sania, ranked 126, with a break in the fourth game of the match went a set ahead against Rybarikova, a runners-up at junior Wimbledon. In the second set, the Indian was serving for the match at 5-4 but squandered it. The World No.51 Slovak, who reached the semis at Hobart a few weeks ago, then made it a set all with a backhand error from the Indian.
Sania, who Friday beat the sixth seed and local favourite Tamarine Tanasugarn, conceded just a game in the decider to win the match in two hours.
Sania, once ranked 27th, had a forgettable 2008 because of a troublesome wrist.
The newly crowned Australian Open mixed doubles winner with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania said it was a close match.
“It was close. I missed some easy points in the second set. But I am happy that I stayed focussed in the third set,” Sania said.
Tags: anna chakvetadze, australian open, australian open mixed doubles, close match, compatriot, decider, feb 14, fightback, hyderabadi, kazakh, mahesh bhupathi, mara santangelo, sania mirza, semis, shahar peer, sixth seed, tamarine tanasugarn, vera zvonareva, wimbledon, yaroslava shvedova