Sania Mirza’s injury layoff continued to hurt India badly as they suffered their second successive defeat, going down 1-2 to New Zealand in an Asia/Oceania Group I Federation Cup tie here today. Isha Lakhani was the lone member of the team to register a win as she rallied to beat Sacha Jones 6-7 (7), 6-1 6-4 in the first rubber.
However, Sunitha Rao, was handed a 0-6, 6-7 (7) thrashing by Marina Erakovic as the Kiwis drew level. The Indians cut a sorry figure in the deciding doubles match and Leanne Baker and Erakovic dumped Lakhani and Shikha Uberoi 6-2, 6-2 to seal it.
They now face a tough task against top seeds Australia in their third and final tie tomorrow. Sania is likely to miss out again as she continues to nurse her hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Australia suffered a stunning 1-2 defeat at the hands of Indonesia today.