Sania crashes out of Tashkent Open

She won a doubles' title at the China Open last week, but there was no end to Sania's poor singles run as the 125th ranked Indian went down 1-6 6-4 5-7 to the Russian, ranked 175 in the world, in a little over two hours.

Watched by her husband, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, Sania looked rusty in the first set going down tamely in less than 30 minutes and was broken in the third, fifth and seventh games. In the second set, Sania found her rhythm to take the set after being down 2-4 and securing breaks in the seventh and ninth games after Bychkova committed five double faults.

The Indian raced to a 5-2 lead in the decider but Bychkova clawed back breaking her in the eight, 10th and the 12th game. Sania had two match points in the 11th game, but Bychkova hit an ace to get back into the match.

In the 12th game, Sania had an opportunity to level scores and force a tie-break but she double faulted twice and that sealed her fate. Sania, who is partnering Marai Elena Camerin of Italy, will start her doubles campaign in the tournament tomorrow.

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