Isha, YU, Miki and Bambri move to semifinals

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 8: Top seed Isha Lakhani of India, with a hard fought 2-1 victory over her Indian counterpart Prerana Mythri Appineni, entered the semifinals of the BSNL-Kerala Open International women's tennis tournament here today, along with Min Hwa Yu of Korea, Miki Miyamura of Japan and Sanaa Bhambri of India.

In the quarterfinals played here, the unseeded Appineni gave a shock to Isha by winning the first set rather easily (6-4). However, the much experienced Isha regrouped herself soon and stopped her opponent from going any further. She succeeded in converting the chances that came her way to points, through splendid returns and placements. On the other hand, Appineni failed to maintain the tempo she showed in the first set, and surrendered meekly to her mighty rival at 2-6 and 2-6.

In another match, seventh-seeded Min Hwa Yu prevailed over Indian Poojashree Venkatesha in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to move to the last four stage.

Though she won the first set rather easily with accurate placements, the Korean could not repeat the same performance in the second. But luck did not favour the Indian and the foreign player won the second set as well as the match at 7-5.

The tie between fourth-seeded Miki Miyamura and second-seeded Rushmi Chakravarthi ended in a tragedy, as the latter had to leave the court following an injury while the first set was in progress, which enabled the Japanese lass to reserve her place in the semis.

In the last singles quarterfinal, third-seeded Sanaa Bhambri of India had to fight hard to register her place in the last four, as her Indian counterpart Geetha Manohar did not allow her to easily earn a semifinal berth.

Geetha Manohar scored points at regular intervals and stretched the first set to a tie. However, in the tie, the much experienced Bhambri won at 7-5. The first set defeat did not dampen the spirits of Manohar. But luck was not on her side as Bhambri won the second set 6-3.


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