Ankita Raina kept hopes of an Indian emerging champion alive with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Wang Xi-Yao of China in the Bank of Baroda $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.
Having dropped a mere seven games so far, the 20-year-old Ankita — with her strong groundstrokes and a dependable serve — may prove a tough nut to crack in the semifinals for compatriot Bhuvana Kalva, who stopped Natasha Palha.
Bhuvana, who recovered from 1-4 down in the first set and dropped only three points in the last three games, closed out the set in style from 4-5.
In a battle that lasted nearly two hours, the free-stroking Natasha did hang on gamely, but Bhuvana broke her serve decisively in the ninth game of the second set and served out without any fuss.
The other semifinal will feature Akari Inoue and Matilda Hamlin. Akari put out second-seeded Rishika Sunkara while Matilda downed Mahitha Dadireddy in straight sets. Mahitha had the game to match Matilda, but lacked the experience to capitalise on her strengths.
Later, Matilda joined Shweta Rana to make her second successive doubles final at the expense of the seasoned Keren Shlomo of Israel and Rushmi Chakravarthi.
In another semifinal, Akari and Hua-Chen Lee beat Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare in two tie-breaks.
The results: Singles (quarterfinals): Ankita Raina bt Wang Xi-Yao (Chn) 6-1, 6-2; Bhuvana Kalva bt Natasha Palha 7-5, 6-4; Matilda Hamlin (Swe) bt Mahitha Dadireddy 6-3, 6-4; Akari Inoue (Jpn) bt Rishika Sunkara 6-4, 6-1.
Doubles (semifinals): Akari Inoue (Jpn) & Hua-Chen Lee (Tpe) bt Ankita Raina & Prarthana Thombare 7-6(3), 7-6(3); Matilda Hamlin (Swe) & Shweta Rana bt Keren Shlomo (Isr) & Rushmi Chakravarthi 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.