The seasoned Ukrainian proves too good for Ankita Raina

Ankita Raina’s defeat to the third-seeded Yuliya Beygelzimer in the quarterfinals on Friday brought the curtains down on the Indian challenge in the ONGC-GAIL $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex.

The 30-year-old Beygelzimer’s experience trumped the 21-year old’s Ankita’s youthful experience as the former went through 6-3, 7-5.

The Ukrainian displayed impressive court sense ruthlessly punishing Ankita whenever she ventured into wrong territory.

Showing fight

Ankita did very well to stretch the contest after being down 2-4 in the second set — she saved three match-points in the 10th and 12th games, first of them with a brisk backhand cross-court winner.

Beygelzimer served well and kept up the pressure on Ankita with canny placement and changes in pace.

Often, she invited Ankita to go for the tough shot, and the latter obliged with a few errors.

Heavy topspin

The third seed’s heavy top-spin made it difficult for Ankita, but she tried gamely, using her court coverage, if not court craft, to stay in the fight against her bigger opponent.

“I had my chances, and I thought that I was the better player. She was very experienced,” said Ankita.

She said she was happy to have started the new season with a run to the quarterfinals, and expressed hope that, with good training, she would be able to get better results.

Meanwhile, Beygelzimer will challenge second-seeded compatriot Olga Savchuk for a place in the final.

Top seed upset

The other semifinal will see Wang Qiang of China, who outplayed top-seeded Erika Sema 6-2, 6-3, play seventh-seeded Belarussian Ilona Kremen, who dismissed the other Sema sister, Yurika 6-3, 6-1.

Erika Sema and Yurika Sema, however, did have the consolation of making the doubles final.

The results:

Singles (quarterfinals): Wang Qiang (Chn) bt Erika Sema (Jpn) 6-2, 6-3.

Ilona Kremen (Blr) bt Yurika Sema (Jpn) 6-3, 6-1.

Yuliya Beygelzimer (Ukr) bt Ankita Raina 6-3, 7-5.

Olga Savchuk (Ukr) bt Varatchaya Wongteanchai 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles (semifinals): Erika Sema & Yurika Sema (Jpn) bt Noppawan Lertcheewakarn & Varatchaya Wongteanchai (Tha) 6-4, 1-6, 10-8.

Nicha Lertpitaksinchai & Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) bt Yuliya Beygelzimer (Ukr) & Emily-Webley Smith (GBR) 2-6, 6-4, 10-6.

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