Sania Mirza capped a miserable October with a first round loss at the Zurich Open to Michaella Krajicek – her third straight career defeat to the Dutch player.
Wildcard Krajicek, ranked three places below the Indian at 33, breezed through the match 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 16 minutes to ensure Mirza’s quick exit from picturesque Switzerland.
The result was Mirza’s 19th defeat as opposed to 30 wins on the WTA Tour this year and her ranking is likely to slide further.
It was also Mirza’s second opening round ouster in as many weeks – having also lost to Argentine Gisela Dulko at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last week.
Krajicek, the half-sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, had started off well – winning the opening game and then swiftly breaking Mirza’s serve. Mirza broke back in a game riddled with deuces but the 18-year-old from the Netherlands quickly recovered from that setback.
Krajicek, who has struggled with her form of late, unleashed her attacking game and a stronger serve to take the next nine games.
A spirited Mirza comeback in the second set saw her break Krajicek’s serve twice but the Dutch girl was in no mood to take the match into the decider. She broke Mirza’s serve for the sixth time to advance to the second round.
By the end of the match, Krajicek had blazed 6 aces as opposed to zero for Mirza although the Indian had a better first serve percentage (65 as opposed to 60).
In the doubles, the wildcard pair of Sania Mirza and home crowd favourite Patty Schnyder is pitted against China’s Shuai Peng and American Meilen Tu.
Mirza returns to the Tour next week at the WTA Generali Ladies Linz tournament at Linz, Austria.