Karman Kaur Thandi beats Ankita Raina in the pre-quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament
It was a commendable performance by the 21-year-old Karman, ranked 611 in the world, as she was playing only her second tournament after missing nearly eight months of the season owing to a shoulder injury.
In a gripping contest that lasted three hours and 11 minutes, Karman had led 3-0 in the first two sets. In the decider, it was Ankita who led 3-0 before Karman got ahead 5-4. The 187th ranked Ankita had to save four match points in the twelfth to force the tie-break.
In the tie-break, it was 3-3 when Karman swept the last four points to set up a quarterfinal against qualifier Karin Kennel of Switzerland.
It was the second win in three meetings for the tall and wiry Karman over the Asian Games bronze medallist Ankita, whom she had beaten in almost similar fashion in the Pune tournament last year.
Reigning national champion Sowjanya Bavisetti also reached the quarterfinals by beating fifth seed Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 7-6(2), 6-3. She will play another Japanese, fourth seed Chihiro Muramatsu.
In doubles, Rutuja Bhosale and Emily Webley-Smith of Britain reached the final, following a walkover from Karin Kennel and Silvia Njiric of Croatia.
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Sarah-Rebecca Sekulic (GER) bt Jia-Jing Lu (CHN) 6-4, 6-1; Mana Kawamura (JPN) bt Eri Hozumi (JPN) 6-3, 6-2; Chihiro Muramatsu (JPN) bt Mihika Yadav 6-1, 6-0; Sowjanya Bavisetti bt HIroko Kuwata (JPN) 7-6(2), 6-3; Melanie Klaffner (AUT) bt Riya Bhatia 6-1, 3-0 (retired); Gergana Topalova (BUL) bt Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Karin Kennel (SUI) bt Punnin Kovapitukted (THA) 6-1, 6-3; Karman Kaur Thandi bt Ankita Raina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).
Doubles (semifinals): Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) & Rutuja Bhosale w.o. Karin Kennel (SUI) & Silvia Njiric (CRO).
Quarterfinals: Emily Webley-Smith & Rutuja Bhosale bt Jennifer Luikham & Mihika Yadav 6-3, 6-3; Karin Kennel & Silvia Njiric bt Melanie Klaffner (AUT) & Sarah-Rebecca Sekulic (GER) 6-4, 6-2; Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) & Valeriya Strakhova (UKR) bt Sarah Pang (SGP) & Arthi Muniyan 6-1, 6-0; Punnin Kovapitukted (THA) & Maria Timofeeva (RUS) bt Jacqueline Cabaj Awad (SWE) & Nudnida Luangnam (THA) 6-1, 6-4.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)