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Ankita fights back, enters round two with Rushmi

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Apr 4 (UNI) Top seed Ankita Bhambri overcame an injury midway and a second set loss to force her way into the pre-quarter finals, edging out compatriot Sai Jayalakshmi 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in the 10,000 -dollar prize money third leg ITF Women's Tennis Championships at the Gymkhana hard courts here today.

In another first round match, former national champion and second seed Rushmi Chakravarty, who did not figure in the first two legs in Delhi and Mumbai, the latter due to injury, breezed past Filipino girl Czarina Mae Arevalo with a 6-2, 6-2 win.

Rushmi had the measure of her rival, who turned out to be no Czarina on the court, breaking her in the fifth and seventh games of the first set. Czarina, who was runner up to Ankita in the Mumbai leg, managed to break the Chennai girl in the third game of the second set. Rushmi exhibited better control even as the heat seemed to sap her rival.

Another Indian in the main draw, Sweta Solanki, sailed into the last 16 round upsetting eighth seed Punam Reddy, 6-3, 6-4.

It appeared that Ankita would add to the list of the four Indian losers in the first round against another Chennaiite Sai Jayalakshmi, unseeded and ranked 747. But in the two hour-34 minute battle, Ankita won a hard fought first set 7-5, breaking Sai in the fifth and 11th games. Down 4-5, she forged ahead to win the set after Sai broke her in the eighth game.

In the second set, Sai ruled the roost. She broke Ankita in the second and sixth games. After breaking Ankita in the second, Sai led 3-0. However, Ankita, who came back to the court after medical attention following a fall in the third set, broke Sai in the second and fourth games.

This was after Sai briefly held the upper hand in the decider, breaking Ankita in the first game of the set before Ankita managed to find her rhythm again.

Another Indian, qualifier Parija Maloo, bowed out in straight sets to higher-ranked Natasha Khan representing Great Britain 6-3, 6-3, while two Korean players, both qualifiers, Jeong A Cho and Ji-Young Kim had mixed luck. Jeong matched seventh seeded Thai Thassha Vitayaviroj whom she beat in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, while Ji Young Kim, after a hard fought first set, got the better of Taipei's Shao Yuan Kao 7-5, 6-3 in straight sets.

Japan's Ito Kazusa, ranked 946, fought an hour and 45 minute battle in the energy draining heat to progress into the second round with an upset 6-4, 6-0 win over Canada-settled Kavitha Krishnamurthy.

Another Brit, however, third-seeded Clair Peterzan, was humbled by Cagla Buyukakcay, ranked 1265 in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Results (first round): Ankita Bhambri (Ind) bt Sai Jayalakshmi Jayaram (Ind) 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.

Rushmi Chakravarti (Ind) bt Czarina-Mae Arevalo (Phi) 6-2, 6-3.

Natasha Khan (GBR) bt Parija Maloo 6-3, 6-3.

Cagla Buyukakcay (Turkey) bt Claire Peterzan (GBR) 6-3, 6-4.

Jeong A Cho (Kor) bt Thassha Vitayaviroj (Thai) 6-2, 6-3.

Shao Yuan Kao (Taipei) bt Ji Young Kim (Kor) 7-5, 6-3.

Sweta Solanki (Ind) bet Punam Reddy (Ind) 6-3, 4-3 (retd).

Ito Kazusal (Japan) bt Kavitha Krishnamurthy (Canada) 6-4, 6-0.

UNI

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