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Coach says line call hit Sania

Source: PTI
September 06, 2005 17:14 IST
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Sania Mirza's travelling coach John Farrington on Tuesday said the Indian teenager could have had a different story to tell if only a crucial line call had gone in her favour in the women's singles fourth round match against Maria Sharapova at the US Open.

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Sania had a triple breakpoint on Sharapova's serve with the Russian top seed up 4-2 in the seventh game of the first set.

The 2004 Wimbledon champion, after netting her first serve, came up with a bullet speed centre serve that seemed to clip outside of the service area but the linesman ruled it in.

Instead of a doublefault, it turned out to be an ace and the point to Sharapova.

Farrington rued the bad luck saying that had the point gone to Sania, the 18-year-old would have got back the crucial break she was looking for and from there on anything could have happened.

"Was it the turning point? I can't say but Sania was swinging big and Sharapova was a little edgy at that moment.

Had that point and game gone to Sania, Maria could have gotten tight," said the 47-year-old from Bahamas.

"Sania had nothing to lose, pressure was on Maria was to come up with the shots. Anything could have happened," he added.

It was the fourth time Sania was playing a top-10 player in her first full-fledged season on the women's circuit. The first was at the Australian Open where as a wild card she took on Serena Williams in the third round.

Farrington said this time around Sania was not nervous and had things go her way. "I think her preparation was good. She had lot of confidence going into the Open," he said.

"She had played a few tournaments on the hard courts this season and reached the final at Forest Hills the previous week. She also had the support (of her father and others), reassuring her that she was doing well and telling her to enjoy every moment on the court.

"She did everything that was asked of her."

Next up for Sania is a USD 225,00 event in Bali followed by the USD 170,000 Sunfeast Open in Kolkata. She is likely to play in two more tournaments in Korea and Japan.

Farrington said it would be a complete break and rest till then, "she won't lift the racquet once". The training would resume in the end of November and the Indian would launch a fresh assault on the Australian Open in January.

It was his close ties with Mahesh Bhupathi that made Farrington take up the assignment with Sania.

"I had coached the number one team in doubles (Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor who were at the top of the rankings in 2002), had a fair amount of experience.

"Sania can go places. To help her get to the next is a challenge," he said.

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