Sania Mirza crashed out of the USD two million Dubai Tennis Championships after losing her second round match 5-7, 2-6 to world number 24 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia here on Tuesday.
Sania, who was playing her third match in as many days, squandered a 4-2 lead in the opening set and never recovered after being broken in the eighth game.
Sania converted second break point in the third game to break the world number 24 and surge ahead.
The Hyderabadi was down 0-30 in the next game but won four points in a row to make it 3-1, not allowing her dangerous opponent to break back.
However, the Estonian raised her game and kept herself in the battle by holding her serve in the fifth and seventh games and then broke Sania in the eighth before holding her serve in the ninth to make it 5-4.
The match grew in intensity as both the players fought hard for each point.
Sania saved a set point in the 10th game to keep her challenge alive in the first set but could not repeat her success in the 12th game and handed the first set to Kanepi after a 43-minute battle.
It was not a good start to the second set as Sania struggled to hold her serve and was outplayed by Kanepi.
The Indian saved four breakpoints in the second game but could not stop Kanepi from converting the fifth and was broken again in the fourth game, which gave the Estonian a healthy 4-0 lead.
Sania broke Kanepi in the seventh game to recover to 2-5 from 0-5 but it was difficult to erase the game deficit and make a comeback.
Sania kept on fighting, saving three match points in the eighth game but Kanepi soon wrapped up the issue by converting the fourth chance.
Sania will get 60 WTA ranking points and a prize money of USD 10,275.