ITF Women’s Tennis: Rutuja, Ashwarya storm ahead

Pune: Teenager Rutuja Bhosale lived up to the trust placed on her and made full use of the wildcard and stormed into the second round with a 6-1, 7-5 win against Nicole Clerico of Italy in the NECC-ITF $25,000 Women’s tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana courts here on Tuesday.


National champion Rutuja’s win over Clerico, who is ranked more than 500 places above the Indian bodes well for Pune-based girl who is now assured of gaining 8 WTA points for her effort.

The 15-year-olds’s first round main draw win is by far her biggest achievement of her career and the points earned is expected to earned her a huge leap in the rankings.

Cashing on Clerico’s double faults in the second and fourth games of the first set, Rutuja raced to 5-0 lead before pocketing it 6-1. The Italian began to rally as she broke the Indian in the second game to open up 3-0 lead. Rujuta regrouped soon after and the match came to life as the two traded five games, but when the Italian was broken in the 11th game her resilience waned out.

Clerico struggled with her serves and committed six double faults before Rutuja served out the set and match in an hour and 26 minutes.

Another wildcard holder, Ashwarya Shrivastava too cruised into the second round by beating Chinese Taipei’s Shu-Jing Hsieh in three sets that stretched to two hours.

Qualifier Hsieh, who is ranked No 849 on the WTA rankings, was given a rude shock when Ashwayra broke her in the second game before opening a 3-0 lead. One more break in the sixth and the set was for the Indian to pocket. She won 6-1.

Hsieh sent down some spectacular winners and served powerfully to take total control of the second set that she won at love as Ashwarya committed three double faults.

But that was not the end of the road for the wildcard holder as Ashwarya let pass that second set fiasco and focused on the job at hand. She broke Hsieh in the first game before the Taipei woman took the advantage back by breaking Ashwarya in the fourth game.

With searing heat causing some trouble, Hsieh began to wilt and committed number of unforced errors as she was broken in the fifth game before Ashwarya closed out the match by winning the ninth game on break.

The third Indian in action, Rushmi Chakravarthi, however, failed to carry on with her impressive performance in the final round of qualifying and lost to fellow qualifier Jia-Xiang Lu of China 6-1, 7-6 (7-1).

Other seeded players, however, moved into the second round without much fuss. Interestingly, China’s Jia-Jing Lu, who won the $10,000 ITF tournament last week in Balewadi, was shown exit door when she lost to fourth-seeded Nicha Lertpitaksinchai of Thailand. Lu did take the first set 6-2, but Nicha rallied brilliantly to win the next two 6-3, 6-3.


Singles, Round-1: 1-Varatchaya Wongteanchai (Tha) bt Kim Hae-Sung (Kor) 6-4, 6-1; Natia Gegia (Geo) bt Napatsakorn Sankaew (Tha) 6-2, 6-0; Rutuja Bhosale (Ind) bt Nicole Clerico (Ita) 6-1, 7-5; 7-Chiaki Okadaue (Jpn) bt Silvia Njiric (Cro) 6-4, 6-2; 4-Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (Tha) bt Lu Jia-Jing (Chn) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3; Lu Jia-Xiang (Chn) bt Rushmi Chakravarthi (Ind) 6-1, 7-6 (7-1); Ashwarya Shrivastava (Ind) bt Shu-Ying Hsieh (Tpe) 6-1, 0-6, 6-3; 8-Anna Shkudun (Ukr) bt Ekaterina Tour (Isr) 6-1, 6-4; Ting-Fei Juan (Tpe) bt Ju-Eun Kim (Kor) 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles, Round-1: 1-Nicole Clerico (Ita)/ Tadeja Majeric (Slo) bt Miyabi Inoue (Jpn)/ Melis Sezer (Tur) 6-4, 6-4; Rushmi Chakravarthi (Ind)/ Sheethal Gautham (Ind) beat Ashwarya Shrivastava (Ind)/ Sharmada Balu (Ind) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 10-7; 4-Miki Miyamura (Jpn)/ Chiaki Okadaue (Jpn) bt Anja Prislan (Slo)/ Kyra Shroff (Ind) 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.