Saturday, October 9, 2010

CWG Tennis: Sania goes down fighting in singles final

India's Sania Mirza saved four match points but fell short in the decisive final set tie-breaker to lose a nail
-biting women's singles tennis final

3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (3) to Australia's Anastasia Rodionova at the Commonwealth Games here Saturday.

The 23-year-old-Indian, world ranked 137, had to content with a silver at the Games where tennis had made its debut.

With a set-all, the momentum shifted dramatically in the decider. The two players shared four breaks of serve before the match went into the tie-breaker, where the Australian prevailed and even earned a thunderous applause from the partisan crowd which cheered on her every error.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Sania, who rallied against the top seeded Australian, world ranked 62. With spectators from the overflowing stands cheering Sania, the Indian was up a break in the decider but allowed the advantage let slip.

Sania, however, won the hearts of those packed the centre court. The guests included Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalamadi, actress Nafisa Ali and Olympic silver medallist shooter Rajyavardahn Singh Rathore.

"It was an honour playing for the country. The important thing is that I gave my best, though I fell short." Sania said.

Both the players showed nerves in the beginning with neither able to hold serve in the first three games of the match.

Sania's serve again let her down, as she was not able to hold her service even once in the first set, and a stream of errors flew from her racquet in her attempt to go for outright winners.

With crowd firmly behind her and cheering for her on every point, the Indian raised her game by several notches in the second set and broke the Australian in the third and the seventh game, making it a set all.

Ironically, she double faulted when she was serving to stay in the match.

Rodionova, who is a Russian by birth, said: "I have been working hard. Now I feel like a real Australian after winning the Commonwealth Games gold."

The bronze medal match between Australians Sally Peers and Olivia Rogowska will take place later in the evening.

No comments:


back to top