The women players may get overshadowed by the power game of the men, but they are not complaining. The prize money for the ONGC-GAIL Delhi Open ITF women’s tournament may be $25,000, one fourth of the men’s event, but that also has not attracted any cry for equality of treatment by the women.
In fact, as Rushmi Chakravarthi said on Sunday after qualifying for the singles main draw, with an authoritative performance.: “This is very good and there is a lot of buzz. They could have had women’s events during the Chennai and Kolkata Challengers also. All these venues have enough courts to have both events.”
Ankita Bhambri, who has won a string of international events but had quit playing a few years back, was equally pleased as she looked forward to playing the doubles on a wild card with Rushmi. The two will be challenging the top seeds Erika Sema and Yurika Sema of Japan in the first round.
The seedings: 1. Erika Sema (Jpn), 2. Olga Savchuk (Ukr), 3. Yuliya Beygelzimer (Ukr), 4. Yurika Sema (Jpn), 5. Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (Tha), 6. Samantha Murray (GBR), 7. Ilona Kremen (Blr), 8. Wang Qiang (Chn).
The results: Qualifying event (third and final round): Sharmadaa Balu bt Snehadevi Reddy 6-1, 6-1; Riya Bhatia bt Emma Hayman (Nzl) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3; Eetee Maheta bt Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-0, 6-0; Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Jeni Patel 6-2, 6-0; Aigail Guthrie (Nzl) bt Sai Samhitha 6-1, 6-2; Manya Nagpal bt Vineeta Singh 6-3, 6-3; Sharon Sanchana Paul bt Vanshika Sawhney 6-2, 6-1; Anushka Bhargava bt Vaniya Dangwal 6-1, 6-2. Second round: Manya bt Smriti Joon 6-1, 6-0; Vineeta bt Victoria Chehal 6-4, 7-5; Sharon bt Sahan Shetty 6-2, 6-1; Vanshika bt Sneha Padamata 4-6, 6-3, 6-1; Vaniya bt Jennifer Luikham 6-1, 6-3; Anushka bt Damini Sharma 6-1, 6-2.