On Day 1 of the singles action of the 2012 Pattaya Open, India’s leading lady Sania Mirza came back from a one set deficit to defeat 21-year old Japanese Ayumi Morita in the first round and in the process, registered her first victory on the WTA tour this year.
The Indian entered into the tournament on the back of two first round losses and was looking to break the jinx by transposing her doubles momentum (she reached the doubles semi-finals at the Australian Open) into the singles competition. However, she didn’t have the start that she hoped for as the world no.64 Morita registered a first serve percentage of 74 and won 11 out of 15 points on Mirza’s second serve to easily pocket the first set 6-3. Though Mirza converted both her break point opportunities, the Japanese went a step ahead as she broke Mirza’s service thrice. The second and the third sets saw the Indian raise her game. Mirza didn’t face a single break point in the second and won 81 percent of her first serve points to comfortably take the set 6-1. The Japanese tried desperately to stay in the match in the third but Mirza played the big points much better, breaking Morita’s serve twice and saving two breakpoints on her own serve to take the set and the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes.
Mirza’s second round opponent will be world no. 88 Anne Keothavong. The 28 year old Thai-British veteran shocked the second seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. Top seed Vera Zvonareva had no such worries as she beat Thai qualifier Varatchaya Wongteanchai in straight sets 6-2, 7-5. It was a mixed day for the seeds with 3rd seed Daniela Hantuchova and 8th seed Vania King producing easy wins while 5th seed Zheng Jie and 6th seed Galia Voskoboeva both crashed out.