Melbourne: Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black squandered a position of strength to go down to world No. 1 Italian combo of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in a hard-fought women’s doubles quarter-final match of the Australian Open, here, on Tuesday.
The sixth-seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair lost 2-6, 6-3, 4-6.
Sania and Cara, who were leading 4-1 at one stage in the third and deciding set, simply wasted the opportunity to cause a major upset, losing to the higher-ranked opponents in an hour and 48 minutes contest.
The top seeds will take on the winner of the match between fourth seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik and unseeded Jarmila Gajdosova and Ajla Tomljanovic in the semi-finals.
Sania and Cara gave a tough fight to Errani and Vinci as they won a total of 81 points as against 89 by the Italians. But as many as 24 unforced errors dented Sania and Cara’s chances.
Errani and Vinci lived up to their top billing in the opening set as they comfortably sealed it off by converting three of the five break points, while saving one of the two that their rivals got.
In the final set, they started off with a bang and opened up a 4-1 lead. But just when it seemed that they would wrap it up easily, the top seeds came from behind to make it 4-4.
Meanwhile, in the juniors girls’ doubles, Snehadevi Reddy and Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal lost to top seeds Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine and Russia’s Elizaveta Kulichkova 1-6 2-6.