Sania Mirza crashes out of Wimbledon
London, June 29: Sania Mirza failed to raise her game when it mattered most, losing 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 to seventh seed Russian Elena Dementieva to make a first round exit from the women's singles event of the Wimbledon here.
The Indian teenager had her share of opportunities against the world number eight but despite leading 5-2 in the first set, Sania failed to capitalise allowing Dementieva to make a comeback and set up a second round clash with American Meghann Shaughnessy.
Sania will now be seen in action in the doubles competition, where she will team up with Holland's Michaella Krajicek to take on the French Italian pair of Stephanie Foretz and Antonella Serra Zanetti.
Playing with strappings on her right elbow and on both ankles, Sania broke Dementieva thrice in the first set but committed 18 unforced errors compared to the Russian's nine to lose the grip on the set.
The world number 38 Indian also committed four double faults and could not hold on to the early advantage as Dementieva forced a tie-breaker in the first set.
Sania was off to a good start in the tie-breaker and was matching the Russian shot for shot with her trademark forehands but lost a 24-shot rally with the scores tied at 5-5 and Dementieva came up with a smashing backhand winner after that to win the set.
The WTA Newcomer of the Year, who has been struggling for form this year, again started well in the second set but the tall Russian lived up to her billing and broke Sania four times in another closely fought battle.
Sania also had her moments as she broke her opponent thrice but Dementieva's 12 winners against the Indian's three made all the difference to the result as the Indian made another early exit from a grandslam event.
The Hyderabadi teen, who won the Wimbledon junior doubles title in 2003, was making her second appearance here. She lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round last year.