Sania eases into second round

first_imgAfter missing the team event due to an ear infection, India’s best tennis medal hope Sania Mirza breezed into the singles second round with a straight-set demolition of Hong Kong’s Chan Wing Yau Venise in the Asian Games in Guangzhou on Thursday Unseeded Sania needed just 50 minutes to whip Chan 6-1 6-0 with her booming forehands and effective backhands to book a meeting with Chinese sixth seed Zhang Shuai for a place in the quarter finals.If she wins, Sania is likely to meet second seed Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, a twotime silver medalist, in the last eight at the Aoti Tennis centre. Sania dedicated her opening win to husband, and former Pakistan cricket captain, Shoaib Malik.”I didn’t feel well in the last two weeks,” said the 24-yearold, who captured a gold and two silver medals at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.”I was absent from the team event, but now I feel much better. My husband came here today, that made me very confident and I felt good,” she added.”I am still not hundred per cent fit but feeling a lot better,” said Sania who is under medication since arriving in Guangzhou for the infection which she thinks she picked up in Luxembourg on the women’s circuit.Sania was watched courtside by Shoaib Malik and her mother. However, her compatriot Poojashree Venkatesha became a first round casualty, suffering a 2-6 2-6 defeat against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Kai Chang in another women’s singles match.Sania, ranked 166 and just outside the seeding list as the ninth-best ranker here, took some time to get into her groove and had to stave off five break points in the opening set but thereafter she simply outclassed her rival who played with a heavily strapped left thigh and was well supported by the centre court crowd.advertisementSania quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first set before her rival, the 22nd ranked player in the tournament, could hold her serve for the first, and what proved to be the only time in the match.She grabbed the opening set in 27 minutes and put severe pressure on Chan from the start of the second set and had her rival 0-30 down with some solid forehand shots that helped her break serve.The Hyderabad-based Sania, who held a ranking of 29 a few years ago when she progressed at lightning pace in the circuit before injuries halted it, also showed her felicity with the backhand in the match. The Indian was up 4-0 with the second break of serve in the set with the help of two forehand winners.For the first and only time in the match she later doublefaulted but that did not prevent her from holding her serve. A clearly upset Chan, serving to stay in the match, doublefaulted to be down 15-30 and Sania went match point up with a superb inside-out forehand winner.But Chan netted a backhand and conceded the game, set and match. The second set lasted 23 minutes.- With inputs from Agencieslast_img