Sixth-seeded Nidhi Chilumula notched up a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sai Samhitha Chamarthi in the first round of the K.S. Narayanan memorial ITF women’s championship at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Monday.

Two other seeded players — Eetee Maheta (7) of India and Japan’s Hirono Watanabe (8) — had an easy day at the office.

While Maheta recorded a double bagel over compatriot Reshma Ganapathy, Watanabe defeated Likitha Shetty 6-3, 6-1.

Nervy service games

The first set of the Sai-Nidhi clash saw either player being hampered by nervy service games.

Sai, in fact, held serve only once even as her opponent, unbroken twice, was only marginally better.

After breaks were traded in the first three games, the 19-year-old Nidhi began to dictate the shape of the contest.

Well-directed backhands

Clearly intending to push Sai back, Nidhi buffeted her with deep, well-directed backhands. But, in a position of strength at 4-1, Nidhi made two double-faults to lose serve before Sai held the next game to make it 3-4.

Nidhi, however, quickly got over the error-ridden phase to claim the next two games, and consequently, the set.

Sai began in rousing fashion in the second set, going up 2-0. Despite some patchy-play — as was evident in the manner a straightforward put-away was blown — Nidhi stayed on course. Although visibly tired, the Hyderabad girl showed persistence when it mattered.

At 4-4, Nidhi ensured her service remained unscathed, and then proceeded to break Sai's serve in the 10th game to put the match to bed.

The results:

First round: Pranjala Yadlapalli bt Abinikka Renganathan 6-4, 6-2; Nidhi Chilumula bt Sai Samhitha Chamarthi 6-3, 6-4; Eetee Maheta bt Reshma Ganapathy 6-0, 6-0; Chun-Yan He (Chn) bt Preethi Ujjini 6-4, 6-3; Hirono Watanabe (Jpn) bt Likitha Shetty 6-3, 6-1; Sneha Padamata bt Ashmitha Easwaramurthi 6-3, 6-4; Amrita Mukherjee bt Vaniya Dangwal 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Doubles: Nithya Raj Babu Raj & Tanisha Rohira bt Efriliya Herlina (Ina) & Thanyarat Karnjanapong (Tha) 6-2, 6-3; Amrita Mukherjee & Likitha Shetty bt Neharika Rama & Swetha Sree Hari 6-1, 6-4; Sharrmadaa Baluu & Rishika Sunkara bt Sai Samhitha Chamarthi & Eetee Maheta 6-4, 6-2.

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