Australian Open: Sania goes down fighting

India's Sania Mirza lost 6-1 6-4 to American seventh seed Serena Williams in the third round of the Australian Open Grand Slam today.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
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Sania Mirza's dream run at the Australian Open was cut short today. However, the 18-year-old put up a gallant fight against six time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams. Sania finally lost the match 6-1, 6-4, but jumped up 66 places to be close to the 130-mark in world rankings. Demolishing act At first, it looked like Serena would make short work of Sania Mirza as she raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set. Sania, however, played much better than expected from a wild-card entrant, hitting a forehand winner. Serena responded with a brutal ace and the Indian could do little but smile in surrender to her opponent's amazing power. Serena won the first set 6-1, but not before the Indian got a huge ovation for winning her first game. Different story The second set was a completely different story with Sania winning two service games in a row. The Steffi Graf-like forehand, it seemed, was creating problems for the player who hadn't dropped a set in her first two rounds. Ranked 166th in the world right now, Sania even got close to breaking Serena's serve. She had a triple breakpoint, but didn't manage to convert. Finally it was a 12th ace on match point that sealed the 6-1, 6-4 win for Serena. Though defeated, Sania was not disgraced. Her fight back was indicative of many more Grand Slam appearances.