Sania Crosses Her First Hurdle




Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza

In order to improve and maintain her faltering Grand Slam record, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza opened her French Open campaign with an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win over Kristina Barrois in the women’s singles. Ranked at world number 72, Sania has never in fact moved beyond the second round here and put up a creditable performance against the German, who enjoyed a career-best ranking of 57, a couple of weeks back but has now slumped to 73.

Sania’s left leg was strapped just below the knee but she managed to complete the win with a backhand winner after an hour and 15 minutes on court number six. The clay court surface is not Sania’s cup of tea but she looked quite comfortable against her opponent and played with a lot of confidence. In the game Sania hit 28 winners to 10 of Kristina but the seven doubles faults served by the Indian derailed her copybook.

A break of serve in the fourth game put Sania 3-1 leading up and after saving two breakpoints in the next game, she had no difficulty in pocketing the first set. She went for her shots and some of the forehand winners were outstanding. She hit 13 winners alone to a meager three of Kristina in the 34-minute opening-set. After both the players saved a breakpoint each at the start of the second set, again it was Sania, who grabbed the lead by breaking her rival in the third game.

They traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games. After saving two breakpoints in the eighth game, Sania broke Kristina for the final time in the next game to seal a place in the second round.

Sania has not been able to cross the second round hurdle in the Grand Slams since 2009. Her best performance till date has been the fourth round appearance in the US Open in 2005 .Her next match will be scheduled against either 12th seed Polish Agnieszka Radwanska or Austria’s Patricia Mayr-Achleitner.

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