Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Chinese Taipei fall to India in Asian Hopman Cup finals

AFP , HYDERABAD, INDIA

India scored an impressive victory over Chinese Taipei in the final of the Asian Hopman Cup tournament yesterday to ensure a berth in the main tournament.

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna starred in a 3-0 win as India became the first team to qualify for the Hopman Cup under a new system that reserves a berth for an Asian team.

India also earned US$20,000 for their win to add to an assured US$50,000 for participating in the main tournament in Perth, Australia, in January.

Mirza regaled the packed stadium with a fluent game that saw her win 6-2, 6-4 against 316th-ranked HwangI-hsuan.

Mirza, ranked 67, breezed through the first set by breaking her opponent's serve in the fifth and seventh games. But the 20-year-old had to work harder in the second set as she once held serve after four deuces and on another occasion after three.

Bopanna, ranked 259, excelled with his serves to prevail 6-3, 6-4 over 310th-ranked Chen Ti 6-3, 6-4. The 26-year-old from Bangalore fired six aces in each set and also returned serves well, once breaking serve at love in the second set.

Mirza and Bopanna later ensured that India did not drop a set in the tournament as their opponents conceded the inconsequential mixed doubles after losing the first set 6-1.

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