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Sania fights her way to third round at Pacific Open

By Staff
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Indian Wells, Mar 13 (UNI) Sania Mirza squandered early advantage but came back strongly to beat local qualifier Bethanie Mattek 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to advance into the third round of the 2.1 million dollar WTA Pacific Life Open here.

The 28th seed was given a tough fight by the American but managed to hold her own and move in to the third round where she will now take on fourth seed Russian Elena Dementieva.

Sania, who was expected to have it easy against Mattek, started well and breezed through the first set, winning it 6-2 but was in for a tough battle ahead.

Battek came back strongly in the next set to take Sania by surprise. The American, who is ranked 115th in the world, shocked the Hyderabadi to storm through the set 6-3 and take the match in to the decider, which saw a pitched battle between the two.

Sania maintained her composure to ward off the threat posed by the unseeded player, who kept coming at her, in the final set to move ahead.

This is the first time Sania has managed to go beyond the second round of a singles competition this year. The Indian has had a less than impressive start to her year failing to produce any of the remarkable results that she managed last year.

She has a tough match on hand in the third round against Dementieva, who beat Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus to march ahead.

Meanwhile, stage is set for a showdown between comeback queen Martina Hingis of Switzerland and American Lindsay Davenport in one of the most anticipated third round matches here.

The duo has faced each other 24 times with the American holding a 14-10 advantage.

UNI XC PM KP1019

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