Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Rushmi Chakravarthi continued to assert her fighting qualities as she tamed Renee Binnie of Australia 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.

While the only other Indian in action in singles, the diminutive Parija Maloo went down in straight sets to Duan Ying Ying of China, Rushmi stood tall in the climax against the Australian who at 19, was 12 years younger to her.

Like in the previous round, Rushmi had lost the first set and was an early break down in the second. She fought back equally courageously much to the delight of her faithful friends and a clutch of other spectators.

It could have been a lot easier for Rushmi, but she squandered a 3-0 lead in the tie-break of the first set and lost seven points on the trot. Earlier, she had fought back from being down 2-4, by breaking back in the ninth game.

Decisive break

Into the second set, Rushmi dropped the first game, but broke back in the fourth and capitalised on her opponent’s inconsistent game to win a decisive break in the eighth game.

After a 10-minute break at the end of the second set, as specified by the ITF, on the basis of the high reading of the heat and humidity in the arena, especially on the synthetic surface, it was Binnie who started energetically, winning the first two games, by dropping just one point, that too on a doublefault.

However, the match turned on its head, as the Aussie youngster sought medical attention once she dropped serve in the third game. It was Rushmi from then on, serving and stroking with felicity.

Calculated strokeplay

Rushmi dropped only six points in all on her three service games thereafter, and pushed Binnie to her wit’s end with a calculated strokeplay. Binnie held for 3-2, but could not hang on to the advantage. Digging deep into her reserves of energy, Rushmi broke her in the seventh and ninth games, to close out the energy-sapping exercise that lasted two hours and 44 minutes.

Rushmi had missed the first matchpoint by netting a forehand tamely, but Binnie put a backhand wide after the Indian Oil officer from Chennai had smacked a winner to set up her second matchpoint.

The results: Singles (quarterfianls): Duan Ying Ying (Chn) bt Parija Maloo 6-3, 6-4; Zhong Yi (Chn) bt Yoon-Young Jeong (Kor) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3; Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Renee Binnie (Aus) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3; Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Soon-Mi Seo (Kor) 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles (semifinals): He Chun Yan (Chn) and Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Treta Bhattacharya and Shivika Burman 6-2, 6-4; Kristina Pejkovic (Aus) and Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Duan Ying Ying and Li Ting (Chn) 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.

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