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Sania Mirza celebrates after winning her semi-final against Magdalena Rybarikova.
Sania Mirza celebrates after winning her semi-final against Magdalena Rybarikova.
Sania Mirza celebrates after winning her semi-final against Magdalena Rybarikova.

Mirza to face Zvonareva in final

The unseeded Sania Mirza of India will face the top seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final of the Pattaya Open.

PATTAYA, Thailand // The top seed Vera Zvonareva and India's unseeded Sania Mirza advanced to the final of the WTA's Pattaya Open in contrasting styles on Saturday. Zvonareva raced through her semi-final against the seventh-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel to win 6-1, 6-4 in just 61 minutes. The Russian has now beaten Peer, the 2006 Pattaya champion, in all of their five matches. Mirza had a tougher time but overcame a missed opportunity for a straight sets victory to beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in her semi-final.

"I missed a couple of easy points and lost the second set. It happens," said Mirza, who was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but faltered. The eighth-seeded Slovak fired shots to Mirza's weak backhand and won the set when the Indian returned a backhand long. Ranked 126th in the world as she works her way back from last year's long-term wrist injuries, the former world No 27 Mirza raced through the third set to reach her first final since Stanford in 2007. Her only WTA-level singles title came at Hyderabad in 2005.

"I'm not going to think about who I'm playing," Mirza said. "I just want to play my game." Zvonareva, the world No 5, holds seven WTA career titles and reached the Australian Open semi-final last month. Mirza won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi. Zvonareva and Mirza have only clashed once before, with Mirza winning in three sets on hardcourt in the 2005 Japan Open.

*AP

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