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Ankita survives a scare, 3 Indians enter pre-quarterfinals of KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open.

Ankita survives a scare, 3 Indians enter pre-quarterfinals of KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open

Bengaluru, 17 January, 2024   

India’s leading star Ankita Raina rallied brilliantly to come back from the brink of defeat after being down by a set and trailing 1-5 in the second set to come up trumps against Viktoria Morvayova in a first round encounter of the KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open being played at the KSLTA Stadium here on Wednesday. The eighth seed, fighting a sore throat and stomach cramps overcame her Slovakian rival 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 to move into the pre-quarterfinals.

On a good day for the Indians, Rutuja Bhosale and Vaidehi Chaudhary also entered the last 16 stage. While Rutuja fought back after losing the first set 0-6 against Eri Shimizu of Japan before winning the next two sets 7-5, 7-5, Vaidehi brushed aside the challenge of Sapfo Sakellaridi of Greece 6-4, 6-2.

In an extremely competitive field, third seed Ekaterina Makarova became the first casualty of the tournament after suffering a straight set defeat from qualifier Naho Sato of Japan 5-7, 2-6. Qualifier Mei Yamaguchi of Japan later sent seventh seed Sofya Lansere home with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. In the longest match of the day that lasted for 3 hours and 31 minutes, sixth seed Carole Monnet of France overcame Serbian Dejana Radanovic 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9).

Ankita, who is just back from being eliminated in the second round of the qualifiers at the Australian Open, was quite rusty in the first set, occasionally shooting down a winner. After struggling to hold her serve in the first game, the 31-year-old ace Indian, suffered due to some poor shot selection. Morvayova, who is ranked more than 200 ranks below Ankita, was swift on the court and grabbed the opportunity to register a clean sweep winning five games on the trot to take the first set.

In the second set, Ankita broke her opponent’s serve in the first game and was promptly broken back. However, the 22-year-old raced to a 5-1 lead after breaks in the 4th and 6th game and was serving for the match before Ankita staged a comeback by not only breaking her serve but going on to win the next five games, with breaks in the 9th and 11th games to make it 1-1.

Continuing in the same vein in the final set, Ankita won the first four games courtesy breaks in the 1st and 3rd games. Morvayova lost her temper midway through the set after she deemed a ball to be out but in reality, the ball was in. The only game she could win was the 7th where she was able to hold her serve as the Indian wrapped up the set and the match which lasted for 2 hours and 14 minutes.

In another duel, before Rutuja could take a measure of her opponent, the first set was over 0-6, thanks to her erratic serves. The Indian went 3-1 up with a break in the 3rd game. The 25-year-old Japanese won the next three games with a break in the 6th game. The Asian Games gold medallist achieved the crucial break in the 11th game before serving out for the set.

In the deciding set, the 27-year-old Indian held an advantage after an early break in the first game to go 4-2 up. However, Shimizu fought back and with a break in the 8th game, went 5-4 up. Rutuja then won three consecutive game to take the set and the match.


Singles Round of 32

Lena Papadakis (GER) bt Amandine Hesse (FRA) 6-2, 6-3; 5-Polina Kudermetova bt Gergana Topalova (BUL) 6-2, 6-3; 4-Moyuka Uchijima (JPN) bt En Shuo Liang (TPE) 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-1; Q-Mei Yamaguchi (JPN) bt 7-Sofya Lansere 6-2, 6-2; Tatiana Prozorova bt Anastasia Kulikova (FIN) 6-2, 6-3; 8-Ankita Raina (IND) bt Viktoria Morvayova (SVK) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1; 1-Darja Semenistaja (LAT) bt WC-Soha Sadiq (IND) 6-2, 6-1; Rutuja Bhosale (IND) bt Eri Shimizu (JPN) 0-6, 7-5, 7-5; 2-Chloe Paquet (FRA) bt WC-Suhitha Maruri (IND) 6-2, 6-1; Q-Naho Sato (JPN) bt 3-Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-2; Tina Nadine Smith (AUS) bt Lanlana Tararudee (THA) 6-3, 6-2; Jana Kolodynska bt Anna Siskova (CZE) 6-4, 6-2; 6-Carole Monnet (FRA) bt Dejana Radanovic (SRB) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9); Vaidehi Chaudhari (IND) bt Sapfo Sakellaridi (GRE) 6-4, 6-2.

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