Eighth-seeded Wang Qiang of China served a strong warning, as she cruised into the final with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over seventh-seeded Ilona Kremen of Belarus in the ONGC-GAIL Delhi Open $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Chinese, who had beaten former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the WTA event in Kuala Lumpur last year, fired aces and stroked with a lot of punch to quell the spirited challenge from the wiry Ilona.
The 249th-ranked Wang, with a career-best rank of 151, got off the blocks briskly, breaking the 20-year-old Belarusian in the first game, and did not relax her grip thereafter.
Ilona had double-faulted on breakpoint, but played splendidly to push the Chinese to give her best in entertaining rallies.
Wang was so solid that she faced just two breakpoints in the sixth game of the second set and was broken in the eighth. But she wound up the proceedings in the next game.
Wang has conceded only 14 games in all in four rounds, she will be up against the seasoned Yuliya Beygelzimer of Ukraine, who beat compatriot Olga Savchuk for the loss of just four games.
The 30-year-old Yuliya who was stretched for the only time in the tournament in the second set by Ankita Raina in the quarterfinals, has won 12 titles in the ITF circuit, including four each in the $50,000 and $25,000 events.With an all-round game and the ability to think on her feet, Yuliya may be the favourite, but Wang has the game and temperament to beat anyone on her day.
In the doubles final, the third-seeded Nicha Lertpitaksinchai and Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand, who had beaten Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare in the super tie-break in the quarterfinals, beat the top-seeded Erika Sema and Yurika Sema, to collect 50 WTA points. The runner-up won 30 WTA points.
Semifinals: Wang Qiang (Chn) bt Ilona Kremen (Blr) 6-2, 6-3; Yuliya Beygelzimer (Ukr) bt Olga Savchuk (Ukr) 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles (final): Nicha Lertpitaksinchai & Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) bt Erika Sema & Yurika Sema (Jpn) 7-6(5), 6-3.