KARNATAKA

Sania's defeat stuns fans

Kalyan Ashok

The Indian star lost to her Russian challenger Shvedova Yaroslava in three sets

Bangalore: The Bangalore jinx continued to haunt Sania Mirza. The Indian tennis heartthrob, who lived dangerously though the first two rounds, tumbled to a shock defeat at the hands of unseeded Russian challenger Shvedova Yaroslava in three sets in the quarter-finals of the Sony Ericsson WTA international championship before a stunned audience at the KSLTA Stadium her on Friday.

Shvedova put Sania under pressure throughout the encounter, braving a vociferous crowd that kept rooting for her Indian rival. It was a match that could have gone either way, but the big-serving Russian kept her cool and Sania under pressure missed out some big points.

After the defeat, Sania ruefully admitted: "She played amazing tennis and I made some crucial mistakes and maybe God didn't want me to win today." Shvedova said: "The crowd wanted Sania to win and maybe she was under pressure on that count."

"She played well and deserved to win," said a Sania fan, who felt the crowd was putting too much of pressure on Sania to win every time.

Dream comes true

It was a dream come true for children of the Dream A Dream foundation, who interacted with WTA stars at the KSLTA Stadium here on Friday. Thirty underprivileged children, who are being supported by the foundation, had never seen a tennis court in their lives. And to be there and play with the WTA stars was a unique experience for them. Former world No.8 Alicia Molik of Australia, the defending champion Mara Santangelo of Italy, were among those who mixed with the wide-eyed kids.

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