London:India's Sania Mirza has advanced to the second round of the Wimbledon Open after a hard fought three-set win over Japan's Akiko Morigami. Sania won 6-3, 3-6 and 8-6. The 18-year-old will now face Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, the current US Open Champion. Sania, ranked 75th in the world right now, has defeated a player ranked four places higher than her. Defensive play After overpowering Akiko to win the first set, Sania was on the defensive in the second set with Morigami breaking the Indian in the eighth game to go 5-3 up. But Sania immediately hit back forcing two break points in the next game but in the end Morigami made it 1-all converting her third set point. Sania began the third set on the wrong footing as Akiko forced three break points. Though the Indian managed to make it 30-40 the Japanese made full use of her third chance to take an early advantage in the decider. Keen contest Sania tried her best in the next game forcing a number of break points but Akiko managed to hold serve and go 2-0 up. However, Sania was in no mood to let anything go awry, as she first held serve and then broke right back to even the set at 2-2 forcing three break points on the Japanese serve. Sania soon lost her serve again as Akiko made it 4-2 only for the counter punching Indian to claw back to 4-4 forcing another break. The scoreline then read 6-6 when the Indian made things difficult for her opponent as she held her serve before breaking Akiko's serve to clinch the issue.
(With PTI inputs)