NEW DELHI: Ankita Bhambri battled her way past qualifier Soon-Mi Seo of Korea to win 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of the ITF women’s tennis tournament here on Friday.

The top-seeded Ankita got off to an erratic start, dropping serve in the second and fourth games, but was tenacious enough to pull herself back in.

Ankita dictated terms in the rest of the set, breaking the wiry Korean in the third, fifth and ninth games, to pocket the first set in just under an hour.

With the Korean taking a medical break to attend to her painful back, Ankita looked to be coursing through comfortably when she took a 5-1 lead following breaks in the third and fifth games. However, the Korean reeled off three games in a row that saw Ankita missing two matchpoints in the eighth game.

But, the 22-year-old Indian hope eventually managed to close it out. He Chun Yan of China got past second-seeded Anastasia Malhotra of Japan as the latter pulled out, complaining of giddiness in the second semifinals played in tougher conditions in the afternoon.

The 26-year-old Chinese had made the singles final in Mumbai — the first of the three tournaments in the current circuit — apart from winning the doubles title last week with Rushmi Chakravarthi.

In the doubles final, top seeds Ankita and Sanaa Bhambri beat Soon-Mi Seo and Jung-Yoon Shin of Korea, clinching the deciding super tie-break.

The results: Singles (semifinals): Ankita Bhambri bt Soon-Mi Seo (Kor) 6-4, 6-4; He Chun Yan (Chn) bt Anastasia Malhotra (Jpn) 6-1, 2-1 (retired). Doubles (final): Ankita Bhambri and Sanaa Bhambri bt Soon-Mi Seo and Jung-Yoon Shin (Kor) 6-4, 2-6, 10-1. — Special Correspondent

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