Fighter Sania fails to tame Henin

While Somdev went down fighting to Tommy Robredo of Spain in straight sets 6-7 (4-7), 3-6, 4-6, Sania managed to bag a set before losing 7-5, 3-6, 1-6 to former World No 1 and winner of seven Grand Slams Justine Henin of Belgium.

Somdev, who was handed a wildcard after his impressive performance last year, posed some threat to the World No 52 Robredo, who was once ranked as high as number 5, but eventually failed to sustain in a contest that lasted two hours and 37 minutes.
On the other hand, the 24-year-old Sania, who booked a berth in the women’s singles main draw of the Australian Open only after going through a tough qualifying route, gave Henin a run for her money.

Henin had to draw all her trademark fighting spirit to avoid a disastrous first-round departure from the mega-event.

Sania, during her seventh straight Australian Open appearance, came up with some winners and looked almost set to cause an upset.Having won the first set that lasted an hour, Sania raised hopes of an improbable Indian win but she failed to make any impact in the remaining two sets, allowing 11th-seeded Belgian to come back right into the game and finally steal the match in a little over two hours.

Sania, who once reached as high as 27th in WTA rankings, has slipped to 145 because to a recurring wrist injury last season.

Sania’s best singles performance at the Australian Open has been third round appearances in 2005 and 2008. She had won the mixed doubles title with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009, which is her only Grand Slam title.

Earlier, the gutsy 25-year-old Somdev, who was making his debut in the Australian Open, tested Robredo in the first set, but the Spaniard then brought all his experience to fore to ultimately prevail with a 7-6 win. Robredo, however, did not have much difficulty in the next two sets.

Somdev could not break his first round jinx this year as he had lost in the opening round of the Aircel Chennai Open also.

First Round Results:

Men's singles: Ivan Dodig (Cro) bt Ivo Karlovic (Cro) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4; 3-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt Marcel Granollers (Esp) 6-1, 6-3, 6-1; 9-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt Rainer Schuettler (Ger) 6-1, 6-3, 6-2; 17-Ivan Ljubicic (Cro) bt Peter Luczak (Aus) 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); 14-Nicolas Almagro (Spa) bt Stephane Robert (Fra) 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5; 28-Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Frank Dancevic (Can) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; Tommy Robredo (Spa) bt Somdev Devvarman (Ind) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-4; 19-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) bt Teymuraz Gabashvili (Rus) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-4; 29-Viktor Troicki (Serb) bt Dmitry Tursunov (Rus) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0; 6-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Marco Crugnola (Ita) 6-4, 6-0, 6-2; 8-Andy Roddick (US) bt Jan Hajek (Cze) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2; 2-Roger Federer (Sui) bt Lukas Lacko (Slo) 6-1, 6-1, 6-3; Florian Mayer (Ger) bt 23-Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; 16-Mardy Fish (US) bt Victor Hanescu (Rom) 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3; Xavier Malisse (Bel) bt Pablo Andujar (Spa) 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3); Frederico Gil (Por) bt Pablo Cuevas (Uru) 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 4-6, 6-3, 9-7; Lukasz Kubot (Pol) bt 18-Sam Querrey (US) 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6; 12-Gael Monfils (Fra) bt Thiemo de Bakker (Net) 6-7 (5-7), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1; Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Fabio Fognini (Ita) 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4; 26-Juan Monaco (Arg) bt Simon Greul (Ger) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; Robin Haase (Net) bt Carlos Berlocq (Arg) 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) bt Daniel Brands (Ger) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.   
Women’s singles: 21-Yanina Wickmayer (Bel) bt Jarmila Groth (Aus) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; 11-Justine Henin (Bel) bt Sania Mirza (Ind) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1; 23-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt Alison Riske (US) 6-3, 6-2; Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Cze) bt 17-Aravane Rezai (Fra) 6-0, 3-6, 7-5; 8-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Kathrin Woerle (Ger) 6-0, 6-2; Jelena Dokic (Aus) bt Zuzana Ondraskova (Cze) 6-3, 6-2; 4-Venus Williams (US) bt Sara Errani (Ita) 6-3, 6-2; Regina Kulikova (Rus) bt 28-Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 9-7; 15-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Tathiana Garbin (Ita) 6-0, 6-0; Virginie Razzano (Fra) bt Elena Vesnina (Rus) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3; 9-Li Na (Chn) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Swe) 6-1, 7-5; 30-Andrea Petkovic (Ger) bt Jill Craybas (US) 6-1, 6-2; Rebecca Marino (Can) bt Junri Namigata (Jpn) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; 32-Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) bt Pauline Parmentier (Fra) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Sandra Zahlavova (Cze) bt Renata Voracova (Cze) 6-3, 6-1; Chanelle Scheepers (SA) bt Karolina Sprem (Cro) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; 1-Caroline Wozniacki (Den) bt Gisela Dulko (Arg) 6-3, 6-4; 29-Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) bt Angelique Kerber (Ger) 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4; 20-Kaia Kanepi (Est) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3; 6-Francesca Schiavone (Ita) bt Arantxa Parra Santonja (Spa) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4; Julia Goerges (Ger) bt Edina Gallovits-Hall (Rom) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Alberta Brianti (Ita) bt Lucie Hradecka (Cze) 6-4, 7-5; Monica Niculescu (Rom) bt Timea Bacsinszky (Sui) 6-0, 6-3; 14-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Tamarine Tanasugarn (Tha) 6-1, 6-3; Evgeniya Rodina (Rus) bt Olivia Rogowska (Aus) 6-3, 6-1.

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