Vaidehi Chaudhari escapes the clutches of Akanksha Nitture
Second seed Vaidehi Chaudhari had to really sweat it out in hot and humid conditions to get past Akanksha NItture 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Asian Tour women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Friday.
In a battle of wits that could have gone either way, it was Vaidehi’s determination and desire to progress that clinched her the contest, as both the girls were equally impressive with their strong game.
It was commendable that the eleventh standard student from Navi Mumbai, Akanksha was able to play with such a calm demeanour and with so much deception and craft to tease the more experienced Vaidehi till the end.
Vaidehi had the mobility on court and punch in her strokes but could not serve out the match at 5-4, and later missed a match point before closing it out, much to the relief of coach Eetee Maheta, who constantly cheered her to keep the fight going.
In the semifinals, Vaidehi will play Yubarani Banerjee, another young player of considerable potential, who has been serving big and stroking with conviction.
Yubarani recovered from a sluggish start to stop the gritty Prathiba Narayan Prasad in straight sets.
Four time National champion Prerna Bhambri was in cruise mode against the tall and strong Kashish Bhatia, as she led 6-0, 2-0, but the latter was able to bring the match alive with her sharp game. At 4-4 and 40-15, Kashish failed to hold serve, and that put paid to her hopes of revival in that second set.
In the final, Prerna will challenge the top seed Sai Samhitha whom she had beaten to win one of her four women’s National titles at the same venue on the same court No.1.
Sai has been in irrepressible form, as she dropped nine games in all in winning her three rounds. She proved too strong for the young left-hander Sara Yadav in the quarterfinals.
The results (quarterfinals): Sai Samhitha bt Sara Yadav 6-1, 6-3; Prerna Bhambri bt Kashish Bhatia 6-0, 6-4; Yubarani Banerjee bt Prathiba Narayan Prasad 6-4, 6-3; Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Akanksha NItture 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)