Sania bows out, Sunitha reaches third round (Lead)

June 11th, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, June 11 (IANS) India’s Sania Mirza struggled in her comeback match and bowed out from the WTA DFS Classic with a straight-set loss to Marina Erakovic of New Zealand while her compatriot Sunitha Rao entered the third round after staving off a stiff fight from local challenge Naomi Cavaday. Sunitha came back after losing the first set to pull off a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win against the wild card Naomi in the $200,000 Tier III grass court event.

Sunitha, who qualified for the main draw, will now face the winner of the match between Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko and Spain’s Virginia Ruano Pascual.

Her more illustrious compatriot Sania, however, went down 3-6, 0-6 against Erakovic in a lop-sided contest in just an hour.

Sania, seeded sixth in the tournament, was given a bye in the first round and this was the first match she was playing after a three-month long injury lay-off. A wrist injury soon after the Australian Open had forced her to miss the French Open.

Erakovic went up 5-2 in the first set after Sania dropped her serve in the fourth game. The Indian fought back and had a chance to break back in the eighth game when she led 30-0 but Erakovic grabbed four points in a row to dash her hopes.

Sania fizzled out after that and dropped her serve in the first game of the second set. Thereafter, it was a one-way traffic with the New Zealander reeling off five games to win the set and the match.

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