On a day when the rains finally relented to allow completion of all the matches, Israeli top seed Keren Shlomo survived a tough examination to defeat Amrita Mukherjee 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of the Bank of Baroda $10,000 ITF Women’s tennis tournament.
The sun blazed in full glory amid humid conditions but Keren fought both the elements and her opponents to reach the quarterfinals with a straight-set victory over Eetee Maheta in the pre-quarterfinals.
But it was the 19-year-old Amrita who really troubled Keren. The match resumed on Wednesday in the second set since it was interrupted by rain the previous day, with the Kolkata girl having won the first set 6-4. She soon took the next two games.
However, Keren no longer had to deal with her opponent’s loopy, top-spinning shots, which had troubled her in the opening set. Instead, nine successive games were conceded before Amrita woke from her slumber to reduce the deficit to 2-3 in the decider.
But Keren, who had recently recovered from a shoulder injury, repulsed Amrita’s advance to close out the match. The diminutive Kolkata girl was also at the receiving end of some poor line-calls at crucial junctures in the final set.
Rushmi Chakravarthi also flirted with elimination before posting a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Chinese Taipei’s Hua-Chen Lee.
The results: Singles: Pre-quarterfinals: Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Eetee Maheta 6-2, 6-2; Katherine Ip (Hkg) bt Ho Ching Wu (Hkg) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Prarthana Thombare bt Chun-Yan He (Chn) 6-2, 6-2; Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Hua-Chen Lee (Tpe) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3; Shweta Rana bt Likitha Shetty 6-4, 6-3; Bhuvana Kalva bt Nidhi Chilumula 6-4, 6-4; Julia Moriarty (Aus) bt Xi-Yao Wang (Chn) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; Rishika Sunkara bt Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-0, 2-6, 7-6 (2).
First round: Shlomo bt Amrita Mukherjee 4-6, 6-2, 6-2; He bt Sharon Paul 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7); Chilumula bt Adnya Naik 7-5, 6-2; Sunkara bt Victoria Chehal 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles: Pre-quarterfinals: Hua-Chen Lee (Tpe) & Rishika Sunkara bt Amrita Mukherjee & Likitha Shetty 6-2, 6-4; Eetee Maheta & Sharon Paul bt Varunya Chandrashekar & Smriti Joon 6-0, 6-3; Chun-Yan He (Chn) & Adnya Naik bt Vaniya Dangwal & Manya Nagpal 6-3, 6-0; Theiviya Selvarajoo (Mas) & Aashima Garg bt Nithya Raj Babu Raj & Victoria Chehal 6-4, 6-0; Akari Inoue (Jpn) & Prarthana Thombare w/o Carol Augustine Benito (Esp) & Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy.
Keywords: ITF Women’s tennis tournament