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Sania makes her exit


  • Sania's third successive defeat against the Russian
  • Top seed Kim Clijsters battles past Jelena Jankovic
  • Sania's third successive defeat against the Russian
  • Top seed Kim Clijsters battles past Jelena Jankovic

    New Delhi: Sania Mirza failed to break Elena Dementieva's stranglehold as she suffered her third successive defeat against the Russian World No. 6 when she lost at the $1.3m Acura Classic WTA Tour tennis event at San Diego.

    The 19-year-old Indian braved a three-hour delayed start due to rain and rallied from a first set deficit but the fourth-seeded Dementieva bagged the third for a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 third round victory on Thursday.

    Compensation

    Sania, however, compensated her singles loss by reaching the doubles quarterfinals with Liezel Huber. The Indo-South African pair defeated Anna Chakvetadze of Russia and Jill Craybas of the USA 7-5, 6-2. Sania, who has shrugged off her wretched form this season to play some attacking tennis on the U.S. hard courts, was off to a rusty start, conceding a 0-5 lead in the first set.

    Playing before a packed Grandstand, Sania gave her fans something to cheer about as she staged a mini-rally by breaking Dementieva at love and holding her own serve to make the score 5-2.

    Dementieva held serve in the next game to win the set. Sania then broke Dementieva in the second game for a 2-0 lead in the second set. She saved two breakpoints — one courtesy an unforced error by Dementieva and the second through a beautifully angled volley winner — to maintain her lead.

    Second ace

    The Indian closed out the set in style, hitting her second ace of the match. In the decider, Dementieva, who committed 10 doublefaults in all, forged ahead to 5-3 by breaking Sania at love in the eighth game.

    Sania, who reached the third round of the tournament last year as a qualifier, earned a pay cheque of $13,825 and 42 WTA points.

    Meanwhile, the top-seeded Kim Clijsters battled past Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. At Washington, third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt cruised into the quarterfinals of the Legg Mason Classic by beating Denis Gremelmayr of Germany 6-1, 6-4 on Thursday.

    The results: At San Diego (Acura Classic): third round: Nicole Vaidisova bt Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2; Elena Dementieva bt Sania Mirza 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Kim Clijsters bt Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Anna Chakvetadze bt Ana Ivanovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; Maria Sharapova bt Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-4; Patty Schnyder bt Paola Suarez 6-3, 3-6, 6-1; Mary Pierce bt Emma Laine 6-2, 6-1; Martina Hingis bt Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

    Doubles: Sania and Liezel Huber bt Anna Chakvetadze and Jill Craybas 7-5, 6-2.

    At Washington (Legg Mason Classic): third round: Arnaud Clement bt Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-2; Lleyton Hewitt bt Denis Gremelmayr 6-1, 6-4; Mardy Fish bt Andrea Stoppini 6-3, 6-1; Andy Murray bt Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-2; Marat Safin bt James Blake 7-6(6), 7-6(5); Wesley Moodie bt Kenneth Carlsen 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(6); Andy Murray bt Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-2; Tim Henman bt Jan-Michael Gambill 6-1, 6-3; Dmitry Tursunov bt Lee Hyung-taik 6-7(10), 7-5, 6-3.

    At Sopot (Orange Prokom Open): Quarterfinals: Nikolay Davydenko bt Carlos Berlocq 6-0, 6-4; Filippo Volandri bt Oliver Marach 6-2, 6-3. — Agencies

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