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January 16, 2005

Australian Open - Day 1

Sania Mirza hits a return against Cindy Watson of Australia in the first round women's singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne, on Monday.

Sania won the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. She will meet Petra Mandula of Hungary in the next round.

She thus equalled the best performance by an Indian girl on the Grand Slam stage. Nirupama Vaidyanathan had reached the Australian Open second round in 1998.

"I was quite tight in the first set and was also down a break in the second set ... But I was hitting the net and not long or wide," Sania said.

"Then I concentrated on making her play, and it worked," said the former Wimbledon girls doubles champion.

Sania through to the second round   


Photographs: Getty Images

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