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Sania in singles second round at Wimbledon

June 20, 2005 19:19 IST

Sania Mirza entered the second round of the women's singles at Wimbledon, beating 71-ranked Akiko Morigami on Monday.

The 18-year-old Indian ace won 6-3, 3-6, 8-6.

Playing on court 17, the 75-ranked Sania, who was knocked out in the first round at last month's French Open, effected the first break in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. Another break in the sixth, at love, saw her well-placed at 5-1. But she lapsed in concentration and allowed Morigami to return a break, at love, in the seventh game and check her charge.

Then Morigami held to make the score 3-5, but Sania served out the set without any difficulty at 6-3.

In the second set games went with serve till Morigami broke in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead. Sania, who won the doubles title in 2003, made a strong bid to return the break in the next game as she held two break-points, but the Japanese held on to take the set 6-3.

The loss of the second set demoralized the Indian and she lost her serve in the opening game of the third set. But just when it looked as if the Japanese would cruise home, Sania broke back in the eighth to level scores at 4-4.

Both players then enegaged in long rallies as they held serve till the Indian clinched the issue with a solid forehand return in the 14th game on her second match-point.

Sani will meet Russian fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who easily beat Briton Rebecca Llewellyn 6-0, 6-1 in another first round match.

Mirza had upset US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 at the Dubai Open in March this year. Indian fans will be hoping Sania will be able to repeat the magic again against her much higher-ranked opponent.