Sania goes down to Hantuchova in Pacific Life Open

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{image-sania new_19032008.jpg}Indian Wells, March 19: Sania Mirza"s fine run at the Pacific Life Open came to an end as she lost to defending champion Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the pre-quarterfinals. Sania, seeded 21st, went down 6-1, 7-6 (4) to World no. 8 Hantuchova in almost two hours to bow out of the $2.1 million event Tuesday.

After a miserable first set, Sania tried to put up some resistance in the second set, stretching it to a tie-breaker but lost 6-1 7-6 (7/4) to the fifth seeded Slovak yesterday. Sania was rendered helpless in the first set as Hantuchova saved all eight break points. It looked like a similar story in the second set as well as Sania was trailing 0-5 the but the Indian rallied to level scores 5-5 and made it 6-5 but Hantuchova snatched her lead back and the match went into tie-breaker.

Hantuchova will meet former champion Maria Sharapova of Russia in the quarterfinals.

Sania, seeded 21st, said she played in pain as her recurrent wrist injury had flared up.
"It's very, very painful. I don't know how I was playing out there as the ball was just flying out because I couldn't move my wrist," the Indian said after the match.

Sania also said the windy conditions here had aggravated her problem by affecting her timing of shots.
But Sania is hoping to be in shape for her doubles match after some treatment. "I still have a day. It could be fine by tomorrow morning. It just depends on the day."

Hantuchova said she was expecting a tough match against Sania but felt great to win without losing a set.

"I thought it was a great match. Sania is a great hitter. I was expecting really a tough one, and just being able to be in the quarters without losing a set feels really great."

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