Fourth seed Prerna Bhambri overcame a shoulder injury to defeat Amrita Mukherjee 7-6(3), 6-4 in a perplexing first-round encounter at the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament on Monday. On a humid day at the DLTA Complex here, a wounded Prerna struggled to produce her best on the court and was even forced to resort to under-arm serving.
Bafflingly, Amrita failed to take advantage of her opponent’s misfortune. A high number of unforced errors characterised the 18-year-old’s game and though she did manage to break five times during the match, holding her own serve proved to be an even difficult task.
The first set saw the players share four breaks. However, Prerna raised her game in the tiebreak to win it 7-3. In the second set, both players contrived to exchange service breaks. While Prerna’s poor performance could be attributed to her injury, Amrita just seemed to find a way of playing at a worse level than her opponent. Eventually, the latter paid the price for it when a service break in the tenth game proved decisive.
The results: First round: Mai Minokoshi (Jpn) bt Sanae Ohta (Jpn) 7-6(4), 6-3; Shreya Pasricha bt Victoria Chehal 6-3, 6-1; Prerna Bhambri bt Amrita Mukherjee 7-6(3), 6-4; Shweta Rana bt Sanya Madan 6-0, 6-1. Doubles: Pre-quarterfinals: Naomi Totka (Hun) & Rishika Sunkara bt Aishwarya Agrawal & Namita Bal 6-2, 7-6(2); Arantxa Andrady & Manya Nagpal bt Vineeta Singh & Simran Wadhwa 6-1, 3-6, 11-9; Nithya Raj & Victoria Chehal bt Sneha Padamata & Saumya Vig 6-0, 1-6, 10-6; Sai Samhitha & Eetee Maheta bt Niku Amin & Jeni Patel 6-0, 6-1; Vaniya Dangwal & Sharon Sanchana Paul bt Smriti Joon & Adnya Naik 6-4, 6-3; Natasha Palha & Prarthana Thombare bt Treta Bhattacharyya & Bhuvana Kalva 6-4, 6-3.
Qualifying: Final round: Sneha bt Preethi Ujjini 6-1, 6-0; Aishwarya Agrawal bt Anjana Kompally 6-3, 5-7, 6-2; Samhitha bt Nithya Raj 6-2, 6-2; Rushmi bt Jaya Bhandari 6-0, 6-0; Ambika Pande bt Vineeta Singh 6-1, 6-2; Treta Bhattacharyya bt Anjali Thakur 6-1, 6-1; Likitha Shetty bt Sukhmani Kaur 6-0, 6-1; Zainab Ali Sajjad bt Shruti Archita 6-3, 6-1.