| Sania Mirza returns during the WTA Bangalore Open on Tuesday. The top-seeded Indian defeated German Martina Muller 6-2, 6-2. (AFP)
Bangalore: Top seed Sania Mirza advanced to the second round of the $175,000 Bangalore Open with a crushing 6-2, 6-2 victory over Germany’s Martina Muller.
Sania, world No. 38, asserted her supremacy over her unseeded opponent, ranked 102, with an authoritative display, enthralling the crowd at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association courts on Tuesday night.
“It was a good match for me. I wanted to wrap it up early and have an early night. But she (Muller) fought well,” Sania said.
It was a mixed day for the Indian players. While Isha Lakhani advanced to the second round, compatriot Ankita Bhambri fell by the wayside.
The day also saw fourth seeded Sybille Bammer of Austria and eighth seeded Emma Laine of Finland making their exits from the Tier III WTA event.
Isha, a wild card entrant, was leading 4-1 in the first set when her Slovakian rival, world No. 296 Katarina Kachlikova, pulled out after aggravating an eye infection.
“I am lucky,” Isha said. “The win would have been more credible had I won playing.”
Isha, taking part in her fourth WTA tournament, said, “I have nothing to lose. All I can gain is experience.”
The 488th ranked Indian will now clash with Ukraine’s Yullana Fedak for a place in the quarter finals.
Fedak, the 19-year-old from Helsinki, advanced after Laine retired after complaining of acute tonsillitis. Fedak was leading 6-3, 3-1 at that stage.
Unseeded Russian Anastassia Rodionova shocked Bammer, the world number 65, 6-4, 5-7, 6-0. Though Bammer came back strongly in the second set, she could not stop the Russian from wrapping up the match.
In an evening match, Ankita, another Indian wild card entrant, went down fighting to Estonia’s Kala Kanepi 5-7, 3-6. The Indian girl erred on crucial occasions to surrender the advantage to her opponent. The Estonian tightened her grip in the second set as a tired-looking Ankita’s attempts to rally did not succeed.
Qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia posted a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand to move into the second round. (PTI)