Ankita, Prarthana move into second round; Mihika fights valiantly before losing

Ankita-Raina-26Pune: Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare took different routes to make it to the second round, but it was gutsy fight by wildcard Mihika Yadav that highlighted the day at the NECC-ITF women’s $25,000 tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana here on Tuesday.

Up against the eighth seeded Veronika Kapshay, Mihika gave a good display of her return shots that frustrated the Ukrainian through the match.

Mihika was down in the first set, but she rallied brilliantly to take the set to 5-5 before Veronika found the opening she was looking for. After taking the first set 7-5, Veronika raced ahead in the second only to let Mihika make a rally as the Ukrainian committed some unforced errors.

After more than two hours on court, Mihika finally lost her steam and the match.

Fourth seeded Ankita Raina and wildcard Prarthana Thombare played well to make sure of Indian presence in the second round.

Ankita saved four match-points in the third set to beat compatriot Rutuja Bhosale 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6) in a match that lasted for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Rutuja, who is currently studying in the United States, showed immense improvement in her game when she rallied brilliantly after losing the first set 3-6 to take the second 6-2 and take the match into the decider.

Rutuja carried on with her form to earn two match-points, but Ankita saved them to force the tie-breaker. Rutuja then raced to 6-4 lead, but Ankita against saved two match-points before taking the tie-break 8-6.

Firing down seven aces, Pune girl Prarthana Thombare shot out qualifier Katarzyna Kawa of Poland 6-2, 6-1. Though she committed four double faults against two by Katarzyna, Prarthana was always on the high and wrapped up the match in just about an hour.

In other action, top seed Anastasiya Vasylyeva of Ukraine thrashed wildcard Indian Sharmadaa Baluu 6-1, 6-0 and the third seed Sofia Shapatova of Georgia defeated Natela Dzalamidze of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Qualifier Cristina Ene of Romania caused the major upset of the day when she beat the second seed Cindy Burder of the Netherlands in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.


First Round: Q-Cristina Ene (Rou) bt 2-Cindy Burger (Ned) 6-4, 6-3; 8-Veronika Kepshay (Ukr) bt WC-Mihika Yadav (Ind) 7-5, 7-5; 1-Anastasiya Vasylyeva (Ukr) bt WC-Sharmadaa Baluu (Ind) 6-1, 6-0; Nina Stojanovic (Srb) bt Natela Dzalamidze (Rus) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; 3-Sofia Shapatava (Geo) bt Silvia Njiric (Cro) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; 4-Ankita Raina (Ind) bt Rutuja Bhosale (Ind) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6); Margarita Lazareva (Rus) bt Alyona Sotnikova (Ukr) 6-4, 6-4; WC-Prarthana Thombare (Ind) bt Q-Katarzyna Kawa (Pol) 6-2, 6-1.