Indians in limelight in ITF women's championship
Chennai, Apr 2 (UNI) Five Indian girls in the main draw, given direct entry based on rankings, and seven vying for a place as qualifiers in the final round, will be hogging the limelight in the third leg of the ITF women's tennis championship to be held at the Madras Gymkhana courts from tomorrow till April 8.
India's Ankita Bhambri has been given the top billing, while Chennai girl Rushmi Chakravarthi will be the second seed. Megha Vakharia and Punam Reddy have been seeded sixth and eighth respectively to spearhead the India challenge along with the top two seeds, Tournament director S B P anand Mohan and ITF Referee Sheetal Iyer announced at a press conference.
Sandy Gumulya, Sheethal Goutham, Varsha Shivashankar, Shivikka Burman, Esha Sanghvi and Arthi Venkataraman, would be hoping to get past their rivals in the qualifying finals this afternoon to make it to the main draw.
Three wild cards,out of four, have gone to Indians Mdura Ranganathan, Shweta Solanki and Geeta Manoharan. The fourth wild card Kelsy Sundram playing under US colours is also part Indian.
Great Britain's Claire Peterzan, Japan's Tomoyo Takagishi, and two Thai players Nudinida Laugnam and Thassha Vitayaviroj, will be the title contenders in the main draw of 32.
A major ITF women's event is being hosted by the Gymkhana, after a gap of three years. The doubles draw will be of 16 with 11 direct entries, two qualifiers and three wild cards.
Players from Korea, China, Canada, Turkey and Singapore would also test their skills in the competition in which a total prize money of US 000 is up for grabs.
The first two legs were hosted by Delhi and Mumbai, respectively.
The singles and doubles winners will increase their ITF points by six notches and the runners up by four.
First and second round losers will get none.
UNI VV KVV SHR VC1150 _