NEW DELHI: The top-seeded Ankita Bhambri will set out to do what her young brother Yuki had done over a fortnight recently — try to dominate the field and possibly grab the titles in the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament to be staged at the DLTA Complex from Monday.
Unlike Yuki, who has been training hard and competing at various levels and was able to win back to back titles in the $15,000 ITF men’s Futures tournaments, Ankita has been busy with her college exams, and thus may not be that sharp. She will be the favourite all the same.
She starts against the National champion, wild card Ratnika Batra in the first round.
In contrast, Ankita’s sister, the fourth-seeded Sanaa Bhambri, who has also been busy with college exams and entrance tests, opens her campaign against Li Ting of China.
The Indian girls could not make much headway in the last tournament in Mumbai, and thus, the likes of Isha Lakhani and Rushmi Chakravarthi will be keen to assert the Indian authority.
The Bhambri sisters had skipped the last tournament and their presence should make a difference to the Indian fortunes in the back to back tournaments to be held at the venue that is getting ready to host the Commonwealth Games.
The second-seeded Anastasia Malhotra of Japan, Keren Shlomo of Israel and Yoon-Young Jeong of Korea will be keen to capitalise on their venture to overcome the spirit of Indian challenge in the unmerciful Delhi weather.
There are a number of other foreigners who can spring a surprise.
The pair of Ankita and Sanaa has been seeded No.1 in doubles and have a first round against Rushmi Chakravarthi and Chun-Yan He of China.
The seedings: 1. Ankita Bhambri, 2. Anastasia Malhotra (Jpn), 3. Isha Lakhani, 4. Sanaa Bhambri, 5. Keren Shlomo (Isr), 6. Rushmi Chakravarthi, 7. Yoon-Young Jeong (Kor), 8. Parul Goswami.
Qualifying event (second and final round): Zhong Yi (Chn) bt Sindhu Nila Partheepan 6-3, 6-0; Soon-Mi Seo (Kor) bt Satjaporn Mahajaroenkul (Tha) 6-2, 6-1; Treta Bhattacharya bt Dipti Srivastava 6-2, 6-1.
Sonya Dayal bt AnushreeThammanna 6-2, 6-0; Moe Kawatoko (Jpn) bt Nupur Kaul 6-4, 6-1; Lisa Marshall (RSA) bt Chutharat Rungtein (Tha) 6-1, 6-1; Rashmi Teltumbe bt Tanvi Shah 3-4 (retired); Rani Smita Jain bt Arushi Sharma 6-2, 6-0.