Karman Upstages Ankita In Marathon At ITF Women’s Tennis Tournament

Karman Kaur Thandi

Karman Kaur Thandi got the better of India’s second seed Ankita Raina in the pre-quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Arera Club in Bhopal on Thursday. Karman Kaur knocked out Ankita 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in three hours and 11 minutes.

Karman, who is still making a comeback to the international circuit after she was forced to stay out of action for nearly eight months due to a shoulder injury, showed some class as she never allowed the higher ranked Ankita to bounce back in the game. It was a gruelling contest as both the players were determined to win.

In a gripping contest, Karman was in the lead with a score of 3-0 in the first two sets. However, it was Ankita who led 3-0 in the decider before Karman once again proved her dominance as she raced ahead 5-4. The 187th-ranked Ankita had to save four match points in the 12th to force the tie-break.

In the tie-breaker, both Ankita and Karman were evenly poised at 3-3, before the latter swept the last four points to set up a quarterfinal against Switzerland’s qualifier Karin Kennel.

Earlier, Ankita had made a promising start to the tournament after she had defeated Turkish player Barfoo Sengiz 6-4, 6-3 in straight sets. Whereas, Karman Kaur had overcome fellow Indian Snehal Mane 6-1,6-1 in the opening encounter.

The other Indian who advanced in the quarterfinals of the singles event was Sowjanya Bavisetti who registered a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over Japanese Hiroko Kuwata. In other singles events, Mihika Yadav went down to Chihiro Muramatsu of Japan 6-1, 6-0, while Riya Bhatia retired against Austria’s Melanie Klaffner as the score read 6-1, 3-0 in Austrian’s favour.

In the doubles quarterfinals, Indo-British pair of Webley-Smith & Rutuja Bhosale defeated the Indian pair of Jennifer Luikham & Mihika Yadav 6-3, 6-3 to book semifinals clash against the pair of Switzerland’s Karin Kennel and Silvia Njiric of Croatia.

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