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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |