Mirza, Uberoi lift India into women's tennis final against Taiwan

Wednesday, December 6th 2006, 2:03 pm
By: News On 6

DOHA, Qatar (AP) _ Sania Mirza and Shikha Uberoi propelled India into the Asian Games women's tennis team final with a 2-0 victory Wednesday over Uzbekistan.

U.S.-based Uberoi prevailed 6-7 (7), 6-4, 3-6 in a three-hour contest against Akgul Amanmuradova before Mirza breezed past Iroda Tulyahanova 6-3, 6-0 to secure India's place in Thursday's final against Taiwan.

India has never before won an Asian Games medal in the women's team tennis event.

Taiwan beat Japan 2-0 in the second semifinal.

Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei rallied to down Akiko Morigami 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 and Chan Yung-jan overcame Aiko Nakamura 6-4, 7-5.

The Japanese men had more luck, advancing to the final against South Korea.

Japan had a 2-1 win over Thailand, whose star player Paradorn Srichaphan lost his match Wednesday. Defending champion and the top-ranked player in the singles event, Paradorn later announced his withdrawal from the singles event due to his painful wrist injury.

The South Koreans beat Taiwan 2-1.

India's Mirza has been the star attraction of the tennis event so far, but it was Uberoi who cornered the spotlight with her battling win over Amanmuradova.

``I was nervous because I've lost to Akgul before and I was really getting tired toward the end,'' Uberoi said.

Uberoi was cheered by a huge Indian crowd, mainly consisting of expatriate workers living Doha, which seemed to have upset Amanmuradova's rhythm.

``Shikha played very well, but the crowd was terrible ... it made me very upset,'' Amanmuradova said.

Mirza said she knew it would be her day after winning the first set.

``I took advantage of Iroda's mistakes and made sure she got no chance to bounce back,'' Mirza said. ``I'm playing the best tennis of my life, it all had to click at some stage.''