Sania Mirza's camaraderie with frequent doubles partner Shahar Peer did not come in her way to overcoming the fifth seeded Israeli in three sets to reach the second round of the Japan Open tennis tournament here today.
With two players fully aware of each other's game, it was an intense one hour 52 minute tug-of-war, at the end of which Sania finished on the right side with a hard-earned 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.
The Indian will now face Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine, who had won the first set 6-2 before her opponent Maria Kirilenko of Russia retired.
Sania broke her opponents twice but was broken herself thrice as the Indian lost the first set.
In the second set, however, Sania saved all three break points to draw parity and maintained her superiority in the decider to emerge winner.