Sania-Sunitha crash out

A half-fit Sania Mirza and rookie Sunitha Rao were beaten by the top seeded Russians.

updated: August 18, 2008 16:53 IST
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A half-fit Sania Mirza and rookie Sunitha Rao tried every tricks in the book but still could not avert a defeat against top seeded Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina in the second round of the women's doubles tennis event of the Beijing Olympics on Wednesday night.

The Indian scratch pair fought tooth and nail but it was the Russian pair, which ended on the right side of the nearly one-and-half hour battle, which they won 6-4 6-4.

To their credit, Sania and Sunitha tried their best but the Russians were simply head and shoulders above them and in the end, their effort was just to delay the inevitable.

Sania, battling a wrist injury that forced her to retire midway through her first round singles match, and Sunitha, who had right thigh heavily strapped, began in the right earnest, breaking both the Russians to go 3-0 up in the first set.

But before the set could slip through their fingers, the Russians fought back. Shocked by the reversal, they responded by breaking back Sania in the fourth and Sunitha in the ninth games to eventually seal the set in 43 minutes.

The Indians shrugged off the setback and resumed with renewed vigour and they broke Safina in the third game to go 2-1 up but the Russians were at it again.

They broke Sunitha in the fourth game to draw parity and even though Kuznetsova could not held her serve, the Russians placed them firmly in command of the proceedings and never relaxed their grip.