New Zealand didnt have the happiest of times of it in the Commonwealth Games tennis singles tournament today.
Davis Cup player Rubin Statham lost 6-3, 6-4 to Indian Somdev Devvarman in the quarter-finals.
Statham, 23, was seeded sixth in the singles, but found the accuracy and depth of the top-seeded Devvarmans groundstrokes difficult to overcome.
The match was played in steamy conditions that seemed to sap Stathams energy in the second set, especially with the amount of scuttling along the baseline he was required to do in chasing the Indians shots.
However, when Devvarman led 5-1 in the second set, Staham burst into life and produced his best tennis of the match, holding serve twice and breaking once. However, it was too little too late.
Next on court, Aucklander Marina Erakovic was confronted by a parochial crowd and a confident opponent on top of her game and lost her quarter-final to home town star Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-3 in 1h 6min.
Mirza is one of the poster girls of the Delhi games and it was surprising there wasnt a full house to watch her play. However, those who were there left no-one in any doubt about who they were supporting.
I knew what it was going to be like, said Erakovic later. I mean, you play Sania in Delhiits a no-brainer theyre going to support her.
It didnt make much difference. After a while you focus on your game and block out the crowd.
Erakovic said she was struggling somewhat for confidence after a frustrating couple of years trying to overcome serious hip and thumb injuries.
She reached a career high world ranking of 49 before being hit by injuries. Now her ranking is on the wrong side of 300.
I just havent won enough games. But thats tennis. Thats the deal. You have to deal with it, keep trying and move on.
Mirza, the best womens tennis player produced by India, is the second seed in the singles. Erakovic was sixth.