Tashkent: Sania Mirza`s miserable singles
form continued as she crashed out of the Tashkent Open with an
opening-round loss to Russian Ekaterina Bychkova here on Tuesday.
She won a doubles` title at the China Open last week, but
there was no end to Sania`s poor singles run as the 125th
ranked Indian went down 1-6, 6-4, 5-7 to the Russian, ranked 175
in the world, in a little over two hours.
Watched by her husband, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik,
Sania looked rusty in the first set going down tamely in less
than 30 minutes and was broken in the third, fifth and seventh
In the second set, Sania found her rhythm to take the set
after being down 2-4 and securing breaks in the seventh and
ninth games after Bychkova committed five double faults.
The Indian raced to a 5-2 lead in the decider but
Bychkova clawed back breaking her in the eight, 10th and the
Sania had two match points in the 11th game, but Bychkova
hit an ace to get back into the match.
In the 12th game, Sania had an opportunity to level
scores and force a tie-break but she double faulted twice and
that sealed her fate.
Sania, who is partnering Marai Elena Camerin of Italy,
will start her doubles campaign in the tournament tomorrow.