PUNE: Seventh seeded Karman Kaur Thandi and wildcard Rutuja Bhosale kept the Indian interest alive earning themselves a place in the quarterfinals with contrasting wins in the $25,000 NECC ITF women’s tennis championship at the Deccan Gymkhana court, here on Wednesday.
Karman Thandi had an easy day out and hurried past unseeded Ukranian Valeriya Strakhova 6-1, 6-1 in an hour, while her countrymate Rutuja Bhosale took the difficult way to shrug off the last standing qualifier Laja Juvan (Slovania) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Court-2 had the action involving both Indians. First up, 19-year-old Karman was hardly tested in the first set by the Ukranian.
Going in with the advantage of beating Valeriya in an earlier meeting, Karman, world ranked 285, raced to a 3-0 advantage, which interestingly had her log three successive aces in the 3rd game.
Pushed against the wall, Valeriya held serve in the 4th, but that was all she could manage in her favour.
The second set had Karman earn three break points in the 1st. However, Valeriya pulled back to level, but eventually lost the next two advantage points to hand Karman a 1-0 lead.
Up 3-0, Karman dropped the 4th, but struck back with vengeance in the next winning the game on ‘love’ for a 4-1 advantage which she capatalised and won the match.
Next up for Karman Thandi is No. 2 Spaniard Georgina Garcia-Perez who got the better of Estelle Cascino (France) 6-1, 6-4.
Following, Karman’s win, Rutuja found her 17-year-old Slovanian opponent a tough nut to crack.
In the first set, Rutuja survived an opening game break to lead 1-0. However, conceding breaks in the 3rd, 5th put her 1-4 in arrears. With the Slovanian holding the next, Rutuja trailed 1-5.
In a never to give up attitude thereafter, Rutuja pushing herself and did not give up easily. She held the 7th, broke her opponent in the 8th on ‘love,’ won a marathon 9th game to cut the deficit to 4-5. The 10th however did not go Rutuja’s way (4-6) which put her one-set down.
The opening set loss seemed to trigger Rutuja’s fight back. The 21-year-old returned to open a 4-0 advantage, dropped the 5th (4-1), but held herself to complete a 6-2 win and push the game into the deciding set.
In the third, Rutuja levelled pegged for four games, then broke the Slovanian in the 6th for a 4-2 lead. An unexpected fight-back by the Slovanian cut the lead to 4-3, before a break in the 8th and serve out to win 9th game ensured Rutuja returned to action.
Rutuja next plays unseeded Russian Olga Doroshina who shocked No. 8 Mai Minokoshi (Japan) 6-2, 6-4.
Meanwhile five seeded players remain in contest and include top-seed Jia-Jing Lu (China), No. 2 Georgina (Spain), fourth seed Katy Dunne (Great Britan), fifth seed Ganna Poznikhirenko (Ukraine) and No. 7 Karman Thandi (India).
In the women’s doubles, second seed Ankita Raina (Ind)/Emily Webley-Smith (Great Britan) became the first pair to reach the semifinal. In their last 8 encounter they downed the Ukrainian unseeded pair of Albina Khabibulina/Anastasiya Vasylyeva 6-2, 2-6, 10-5.
Pre-quarterfinals: Olga Doroshina (Rus) bt 8-Mai Minokoshi (Jpn) 6-2, 6-4; 2-Georgina Garcia-Perez (Esp) bt Estelle Cascino (Fra) 6-1, 6-4; 5-Ganna Poznikhirenko (Ukr) bt Amina Anshba (Rus) 2-6, 6-1, 7-5; 7-Karman Kaur Thandi bt Valeriya Strakhova (Ukr) 6-1, 6-1; wc-Rutuja Bhosale (Ind) bt q-Kaja Juvan (Slo) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; 1-Jia-Jing Lu (Chn) bt Gozal Ainitdinova (Kaz) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1; Fatma Al Nabhani (Oma) bt Anastasiya Vasylyeva (Ukr) 6-2, 6-4; 4-Katy Dunne (Gbr) bt Gabriella Taylor (Gbr) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.
Quarterfinals: 2-Ankita Raina (Ind)/Emily Webley-Smith (Gbr) bt Albina Khabibulina/Anastasiya Vasylyeva (Ukr) 6-2, 2-6, 10-5; 1-Georgina Garcia Perez (Esp)/Valeriya Strakhova (Ukr) bt Dhruth Tatachar Venugopal (Ind)/Ekaterina Yashina (Rus) 6-3, 6-2; 3-Samantha Murray (Gbr)/Ana Veselinovic (Mne) bt Nudnida Luangnam (Tha)/Mai Minokoshi (Jpn) 6-3, 6-2; Jessy Rompies (Ina)/Varunya Wongteanchai (Tha) bt 4-Olga Doroshina (Rus)/Anna Morgina (Rus) 3-6, 6-3, 10-6.