Mirza upsets Peer in San Diego

August 1, 2007 09:50 AM
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- Sania Mirza used pressure at the net in the third set to pull off a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 upset of No. 12 seed Shahar Peer on Tuesday in the Acura Classic.

Mirza, a finalist at Stanford on Sunday, beat her doubles partner by going to the net more often than usual in the final set, trying to shorten rallies. The strategy paid off for Mirza, who said she was tired from playing all week at the Bank of the West Classic.

"I really didn't want to spend so much time on the court,'' said Mirza, who lost in straights sets at Stanford to Anna Chakvetadze. "We all know that (Peer) is one of the best on the tour at running down shots. If I keep hitting and ripping from behind the baseline, she's going to keep tracking down balls.''

Mirza instead decided uncharacteristically to come to the net in the third set against her Israeli opponent. It worked as Mirza jumped out to a 4-1 lead.

Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic, ranked third in the world, had little trouble in her first appearance, beating Vania King 6-3, 6-0 in a second-round night match.

No. 7 seed Martina Hingis of Switzerland struggled in her first match before pulling out a 7-5, 6-2 second-round win over Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands in a night match. Hingis dominated as she got off to a 5-1 lead, but then dropped four games in a row as she began to commit numerous unforced errors.

Hingis reeled off two straight games to take the set before settling down in the second set.

Hingis made 20 unforced errors in the first set and hit just 16 winners. But Krajicek was more inconsistent with 27 first-set unforced errors. Krajicek finished with 47 unforced errors to 27 for Hingis.

Fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 second-round victory over countrywoman Elena Bovina.

"She is not an easy player to play in the first round,'' Petrova said. "But overall, I'm happy on what I did on the court today.''

No. 5 Marion Bartoli of France struggled in her second-round match before defeating Japan's Aiko Nakamura, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Bartoli was the runner-up to Venus Williams at Wimbledon.

In other first-round matches involving ranked players, No. 15 seed Sybille Bammer of Austria was a 6-4, 7-6 (5) winner over Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine, and 16th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic defeated Meilen Tu of the United States, 6-4, 6-3.

Mirza, who equaled her career-high ranking of No. 31 this week after her runner-up finish at Stanford, broke Peer's serve nine times.

"I'm happy because it was a very tough first-round match,'' Mirza said. "But we both are not happy because we are friends, and it's hard to play a friend.''
 

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