Category Archives: WTA

Quick exit for Sania Mirza from Zurich Open

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.

Zurich OpenThe 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.

Sony Ericsson WTA TourBy 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.

Mixed fortunes for Sania Mirza at Kremlin Cup

The Gisela Dulko syndrome continued to haunt Sania Mirza as the Indian number one fell to her Argentinian nemesis in the first round of the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday.

Kremlin Cup, MoscowThe 6-3, 6-4 defeat at Moscow’s Olympic Stadium was Mirza’s third straight loss to Dulko in WTA tour meetings. And she hasn’t been able to take a set off the 41st-ranked player yet.

Though Mirza had a better first serve percentage than Dulko at Moscow (63 to 58), she also committed nine doublefaults, which ultimately proved too costly in the 85-minute match.

The loss was Mirza’s 18th out of a total of 48 matches on the WTA Tour this year.

Mirza had lost to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open last week in only her third match since the US Open.

But the 20-year-old had better luck in the evening at the Moscow doubles event, where she partnered Switzerland’s Patty Schnyder to easily beat Vera Dushevina of Russia and Tatiana Perebiynis of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3 in less than an hour.

Sony Ericsson WTA TourIn the quarterfinals, Mirza and Schnyder will be pitted against top seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the US.

There is hope yet as Mirza, ranked 20th in doubles, had beaten the world’s best pair in the New Haven final in August – in partnership with Italy’s Mara Santangelo.

Sania Mirza crashes out of Japan Open

Sania Mirza crashed out of the AIG Japan Open on Thursday, losing 4-6, 4-6 to good friend Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the quarterfinals.

AIG OpenMirza, seeded second at the WTA Tier III event in Tokyo, couldn’t find her rhythm against the eighth-seeded Pennetta – whom she had beaten in straight sets in their only previous meeting at the Open Gaz de France, Paris in February 2006.

Mirza actually led 2-0 in the first set before Pennetta broke back and the momentum swung her way, enabling the Italian to serve for the set at 5-4.

A crucial double-fault by Mirza, which gave Pennetta the break and a 4-3 lead in the second set sealed the match in the Italian’s favour.

Sony Ericsson WTA TourIt was Mirza’s 17th loss on the WTA Tour this year as opposed to 30 wins. Her run to the singles quarterfinals earned the 20-year-old Hyderabadi $7105 and 65 WTA points.

Mirza’s doubles campaign at the tournament with American partner Christina Fusano also came to an end after the duo withdrew citing an abdominal strain before their quarterfinal match against second seeds Sun TianTian and Zi Yan of China.

Minor hiccup for Sania Mirza in Japan Open second round

Sania Mirza’s campaign at the AIG Japan Open suffered a minor hiccup against a left-handed Australian named Casey Dellacqua but the Indian number one advanced to the quarterfinals with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win.

AIG OpenThe 84-ranked Dellacqua, whom Mirza has never played before, broke her serve in the first and fifth games of the deciding set. But experience in the higher echelons of the game helped Mirza, ranked 29 in the world, to claw her way back to win the match.

It was Mirza’s 30th win on the WTA Tour this year as opposed to 16 losses.

Up next for the 20-year-old from Hyderabad is eighth seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta. Mirza had beaten her in straight sets in their only career meeting at the Open Gaz de France, Paris in February 2006.

The $175,000 Tier III event at Tokyo has been happy hunting ground for Mirza, who upset top-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva to reach the semifinal in her only previous appearance here in 2005.

This time around, Mirza is seeded second and one of the favourites to lay hands on the $25,840 winner’s purse and 140 valuable WTA points.

If she gets past Pennetta, Mirza’s toughest test would lie in the semifinals where she is expected to play Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano (5).

Sony Ericsson WTA TourRazzano beat Mirza in straight sets in Los Angeles this year and is coming off a win at the Jinjiannan Guangzhou International Women’s Open. Should Mirza survive, awaiting her in the final would be world no 8 Venus Williams, herself on a roll after a victory at Seoul last week.

In the first round at Tokyo on Monday, Mirza had beaten local hope Ayumi Morita 6-0, 6-4. The next day, she teamed up with American Christina Fusano to beat Urszula Radwanska of Poland and Agnes Szatmari of Romania 6-3, 6-2 in the doubles.

The Indo-US pair will now battle second seeds Sun TianTian and Zi Yan of China for a place in the doubles quarterfinals.

Easy win for Sania Mirza in first round of Japan Open

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

Sania Mirza made a winning return to the WTA Tour with a 6-0, 6-4 win over local hope Ayumi Morita in the opening round of the AIG Japan Open in Tokyo.

Mirza, sidelined by a wrist injury following her third round loss at the US Open last month, showed no sign of rustiness – blazing through the first set without dropping a game.

The Indian then seemed to let down her guard, with the 17-year-old Morita breaking Mirza’s serve in the very first game of the second set. A game later, the Japanese player was two points away from leading 3-0.

But Mirza, ranked 29 in the world, came back strongly to take the next three games and then broke Morita in the eighth game to lead 5-3.

Serving for the match, Mirza was broken again but recovered to break back and vanquish the 139-ranked Morita in little more than an hour.

It had been Mirza’s 29th win on the WTA Tour this year as opposed to 16 losses.

Up next for the 20-year-old from Hyderabad is 84-ranked Australian Cassey Dellacqua, whom she has never played before.

MIRZA’S RANKING TAKES A HIT

Thanks to her unplanned break from tennis, Mirza’s singles ranking slipped to 29 on Monday – two places down from her career-best 27 in late August. Her doubles ranking has also taken a beating with Mirza now down to 20th in the world. A good result at the Japan Open should reverse the ebb in rankings.

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW AND POSSIBLE OPPONENTS

The $175,000 Tier III event at Tokyo has been happy hunting ground for Mirza, who upset top-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva to reach the semifinal in her only previous appearance here in 2005.

This time around, Mirza is seeded second and one of the favourites to lay hands on the $25,840 winner’s purse and 140 valuable WTA points.

AIG OpenIn the quarterfinals, Mirza could run into eighth seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta whom she had beaten in their only career meeting in Paris last year.

But Mirza’s toughest test would lie in the semifinals where she’s seeded to play Maria Kirilenko (3) of Russia or Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano (5).

Razzano beat Mirza in straight sets in Los Angeles this year and is coming off a win at the Jinjiannan Guangzhou International Women’s Open. Also on a winning streak is Kirilenko, champion at Kolkata’s Sunfeast Open – a tournament doomed by Mirza’s absence and Twenty20 cricket.

Mirza leads 2-0 in career meetings against Kirilenko but the Russian is playing her best tennis – her fine run at last week’s Hansol Korea Open broken only by Venus Williams in the final.

Kirilenko’s spectacular results in September have also helped her overtake Mirza in the latest rankings.

Should Mirza survive, awaiting her in the final would be world no 8 Venus Williams, herself on a roll after the Seoul victory.

In the doubles event, Mirza is partnering little known American Christina Fusano and hopes to emulate her semifinal appearance here in 2005 when she partnered Israel’s Shahar Peer.