Ankita opens 2019 with Singapore 25K ITF title
Ankita Raina gifted herself first singles title of the 2019 season when the Pune-trained player won the ITF $25,000 event in Singapore in a show of total domination as she defeated top three seeds on her way to the title.
Pune: Ankita Raina gifted herself first singles title of the 2019 season when the Pune-trained player won the ITF $25,000 event in Singapore in a show of total domination as she defeated top three seeds on her way to the title.
On Sunday Ankita was up against top seed Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, but the battled hardened Indian, who flew to Singapore after failing to get past the Australian Open qualifying tournament in Melbourne, swamped the Dutch in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
Ankita’s win over the World No 122 in one hour and 23 minutes came on the back of having beaten four seeded players in the tournament starting with Dutch No 8 seed Lesley Kerkhove in the second round.
The 25-year-old followed that up with wins over second seed Uzbek Sabina Sharipova and third seeded Swiss Conny Perrin.
Ankita had a disappointing run at the Australian Open. In the women’s singles, she had a one-set advantage but went down 6-4, 2-6, 4-6 to Spain’s 29th seed Paula Badosa Gibert, World No 142.
Ankita, who is currently ranked 203 on the WTA rankings, is likely to jump to career-high singles rank of 168 thanks to 50 points she earned in Singapore, when the new list is issued on Monday.
“I’ve been working on my serve for a long while now and I think it’s starting to help. I also feel there’s more power in the strokes. It definitely helped playing the Grand Slam as the first tournament of the year. It gave a lot of positivity and self-belief,” Ankita said.
The Singapore title was Ankita’s fourth 25K ITF trophy. Her other ITF titles came in 10K ITF events. In 2018 she won two titles -- Gwalior (25k) and Nonthaburi (25k).
- The Asian Games bronze medallist said the changes made to the circuit have made even the USD 25k tournaments much tougher.
- “This tournament, even though it was 25k event, was a tough competition as all the qualifying players from Melbourne were here. I played seeded players from the second round itself.”
- “There were a few things that I needed to work on mentally which I am happy I could work with my coach as he was around before the tournament. He eventually left after the first round match due to other commitments back home. “Also the things I am working for the last six months are paying off. In fact, we were working on it in the Australian open and will continue,” she added.