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Still need to shake off rust: Sania

BANGALORE: Comeback girl Sania Mirza made a strong statement in the World Team Challenge tennis tournament in Hong Kong on Friday when she dismiss
sania.jpg
Sania Mirza serves during her match against Agnes Szavay at the JB Group Classic tennis competition in Hong Kong. (AP Photo)
ed world No.25 Agnes Szavay of Hungary to give the Asia Pacific team a 2-0 win over a Europe side led by world No.1 Jelena Jankovic.

Sania, ranked 100 in the world, and returning from a four-month injury induced lay-off, beat the 20-year-old, who was ranked as high as No.13 a few months ago, 6-3, 6-4. Earlier, in the first match of the Europe and Asia Pacific clash, Sania and China's Zheng Jie blasted past Jankovic and Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito 6 1, 6 1.

Sania, 22, who has worked her body relentlessly in the off-season and is in her best physical condition, told ToI shortly after her win, "It's exciting to beat a top 25 player in singles and a top player like Jankovic in the doubles after a long layoff. But I still need to shake off a lot of rust from my game before I can win consistently at this level." Sania told TOI shortly after her win.

The Indian ace traded breaks with the powerfully-built Szavay early in the opening set. At 3-3, Sania reeled off three games in a row to close out the set.

In the second set, the striking Hyderabadi battled back from 0-2 before levelling at four games apiece. Sania broke Szavay in the ninth game and served out the match in the tenth.

This was the first meeting between the two players. With this win, Asia Pacific won the JB Silver Group Final 2-0. Jie plays Jankovic on Saturday in a dead third rubber.

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