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Sania battles injury to beat Castano; enters 2nd round of Wimbledon

London, Jun 24 (UNI) In what was being considered as an easy opening match for Sania Mirza, the Indian survived a tough test and fought back just in time to overpower Catalino Castano of Colombia to move in to the second round of the Wimbledon Championships here today.

Seeded 32nd in the tournament, Sania was stretched to limit by her Colombian opponent but the Indian cornered her with a stunning comeback in the third set to win the match 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in a battle that lasted two hours 16 minutes.

The 29-year old Castano, who has not gone past the first round in five visits to Wimbledon, posed a good challenge to her Indian opponent from the word go.

Sania, who was been struggling to find her form after a three-month long injury lay off, looked in some trouble in the first set that went to the tie-breaker but the Indian eventually won it after a tough 50 minutes on court.

However, it was a different story in the second set as the unseeded Castano levelled the scores with a 6-3 win and the unforced errors were not helping Sania either.

The Indian ace needed a medical time out at 4-1 down in the second set to treat what appeared to be a stiff right shoulder.

Sania was guilty of making some unnecessary double faults which came at crucial stages of the match but she came back just in time to re-assess her game and fought back in to the match.

Sania had nine double faults against her Colombian opponent's seven.

In the third set, the Hyderabadi girl made a stunning come back and wrapped up the set in just just 39 minutes.

Sania broke her rival thrice in the third, fifth and the seventh game of the third set as she made Castano ran from one corner to the other of the court with her skillful forehand placements and eventually sealed the match.

The Indian will now face Spaniard Maria Martinez Sanchez as she attempts to reach the third round here for the first time.


Story first published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 20:04 [IST]
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