Sania Mirza's lean patch continued as the Indian ace crashed out of the USD 4,500,000 Sony Ericsson Open after losing a gruelling first round match against world number 65 Mathilde Johansson of France here.
Sania, a wild card entrant, won the first set but could not survive the battle of nerves and lost 6-1 6-7 (2) 6-7 (8) against her rival. Also making a first round exit was India's teen sensation Yuki Bhambri, who put up a valiant fight against world number 73 Diego Junqueira of Argentina.
The 15-year-old Indian wild card showed a steely resolve as he kept his seasoned opponent in fight for one hour and 22 minutes before losing 4-6 3-6. Sania had failed to move beyond the second round at Indian Wells last week.
The Indian ace, world number 100, will now compete in the doubles event for which she has teamed up with Chinese Taipei's Chia-Jung Chuang. The pair will take on the Czech combination of Iveta Benesova and Barbora Strycova Zahlavova in the opening round.