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Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 25 (UNI) Top seed in the qualifiers, Sonal Phadke played a solid baseline game to overcome Moe Kawatoko of Japan for a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win in the opening round, at the Shivaji Park Gymkhana-ITF 10,000 dollar Women's Tennis Tournament, which got under way here today.

While Phadke forced her opponent into an error-prone game to serve a warning to the rest of the field, in contrast, No. 11 seed Liza Pereira of India survived an early scare before rallying to a 7-5, 6-4 win over compatriot and wild card Prachi Nadkarni in another first round contest.

Pereira recovered from a 1-3 deficit in the first set, after dropping a game, to take charge midway. Nadkarni surprised Pereira with a strong challenge before she could settle down, but the latter used her experience to come back into the match.

The seeds in the qualifying round lived up to their reputation with No. 2 Archana Venkataraman of India leading the way with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over sister Arthi.

Fourth seed Nungnadda Wannasuk of Thailand, No. 6 Kazusa Ito of Japan, No. 13 Wei-Peng Lee of Singapore and No. 15 Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkmenistan advanced with fluent wins over Indian opponents that included mixed fortunes for the Phadke siblings when Sonal's sister Sagarika crashed to Buyukakcay 1-6, 0-6.

The winner of the tournament will earn $1,568 and six points, while the runner-up will earn $980 and four points.

The main draw will commence on Monday, March 27.

Results (1st qualifying round): Sonal Phadke (India) bt Moe Kawatoko (Jpn) 6-2, 6-1; Wei-Ping Lee (Sing) bt Shradha Dali (India) 6-0, 6-4; Nungnadda Wannasuk (Thai) bt Vishakha Sheoran (India) 6-1, 6-3; Cagla Buyukakcay (Turkmenistan) bt Sagarika Phadke (India) 6-1, 6-0; Asha Nandakumar (India) bt Tanvi Shah (India) 6-4, 6-3; Liza Pereira (India) bt Prachi Nadkarni (India) 7-5, 6-4; Archana Venkataraman (India) bt Arthi Venkataraman (India) 6-3, 6-2; Madura Ranganathan (India) bt Vishika Chhetri (India) 7-5, 6-4; Geeta Manohar (India) bt Anupama Rajur (India) 6-2, 6-4; Lavinia Tananta (Indonesia) bt Chirashanti Rajur (India) 6-1, 6-3; Kazusa Ito (Jpn) bt Sampada Kanade (India) 6-0, 6-0.


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