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Mary-Sania moves into second round

Hyderabad: Blending exuberance with brilliance, Mary Pierce and Sania Mirza trounced Sai Jayalakshmi and Rushmi Chakraborthy 6-1, 6-4 in the doubles first round at the $140,000 WTA Indian Open on Monday.

The Indo-French pair exploited the weaknesses of the Indian pair, which was given a last minute wild card, to register an easy victory.

An elated Sania described the win as a “dream come true”, while Mary was all praise for her junior partner saying: “She is cool and calm and was a very good companion. It’s a good beginning.”

Widjaja wins

Earlier, in singles play, seventh seed Angelique Widjaja of Indonesia warded off a spirited challenge from Jelena Kostenic of Croatia .

Playing before an enthusiastic crowd, the Indonesian rallied to carve out a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in about two hours at the Centre Court.

The 22-year-old southpaw from Croatia baffled Widjaja winning the first five games with ease and precision. The lanky Croatian, who resides in Zagreb, outplayed her more fancied opponent through sheer grit and high returns to take the first set 6-1. Widjaja dominated the second set and her 20-year-old opponent before taking it 6-4.

The final set saw fortunes swing to the other side. Kostanic put up a stiff resistance with her baseline attack but Widjaja, who has an ITF singles title to her credit, used all her experience to emerge victorious amid thundering applause from the spectators.

In the other matches of the day, Andreea Vanc of Romania defeated Julia Vakulenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-2, while Silvija Talaja of Croatia beat Wynne Prakusya of Indonesia 6-3, 6-4.

Number six seed Cristina Torrens-Valero of Spain beat Jeon Mi-ra of South Korea 7-5, 6-0, and Italy’s Antonella Serra Zanetti ousted Evgenia Koulikovskaya of Russia 6-7 (10-12), 7-5, 6-0.

In qualifying, Manisha Malhotra defeated Jin-hi-Kim of Korea 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 made it to the singles main draw. Others to qualify were Yulia Beygelzimer of, who beat Tian Tian Sun 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, Olga Kalyuzhnaya, who beat Jie Zheng 6-0, 6-4, and Maria Kirlenko who got past Zi Yan 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

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