Special Correspondent

Isha in good form against Parija Maloo

Sanaa outclasses Parul Goswami

NEW DELHI: Isha Lakhani and Sanaa Bhambri kept the Indian hopes alive as they cruised into the semifinals of the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.

The left-handed Isha in particular was in good form as she raced past compatriot, the sixth-seeded Parija Maloo in straight sets. Isha raced up to a 6-2, 5-0 lead before she dropped four games on the trot.

Could fancy her chances

Isha has been playing well this week, and could fancy her chances against the top-seeded Emily Webley-Smith of Britain, if she maintains her intensity of concentration and self-belief.

Emily sailed past qualifier Rishika Sunkara for the loss of four games, though the match was a lot more competitive than the score-line may suggest.

The 16-year-old Rishika missed a lot of chances in terms of game points and break points, but gave a good account of herself in her maiden quarterfinal appearance at this level.

The 25-year-old Emily has been struggling in recent times, and has, in fact, not played a tournament after tamely losing the first round of the qualifying event of Wimbledon.

Emily does have a lot of respect for the Indians, especially after failing to win a game on grass against Sanaa Bhambri in the semifinals at Muzaffar Nagar in November last year, but she clearly is playing at a different level at the moment, and brimming with confidence.

Easy win

Sanaa played her style, with deft placements, angles and spin to outclass Parul Goswami for the loss of two games.

She will meet Alexandra Kolesnichenko of Uzbekistan who overcame a stiff challenge from Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia in a three-setter.

The results: Singles (quarterfinals): Emily Webley-Smith (GBr) bt Rishika Sunkara 6-2, 6-2; Isha Lakhani bt Parija Maloo 6-2, 6-4; Sanaa Bhambri bt Parul Goswami 6-2, 6-0; Alexandra Kolesnichenko (Uzb) bt Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Doubles (semifinals): Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) and Ashmitha Easwaramurthi bt Trang Huynh Phuong Dai (Vie) and Parul Goswami 6-0, 0-6, 10-6; Alexandra Kolesnichenko (Uzb) and Emily Webley-Smith (GBr) bt Anastasia Malhotra (Jpn) and Isha Lakhani 3-6, 6-2, 10-5.

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