Kamesh Srinivasan

NEW DELHI: Sandy Gumulya of Indonesia defeated fellow qualifier Ji-Young Kim of Korea 6-3, 6-3 in the final to clinch the title in the $10,000 ITF women's tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

In front of a sparse gathering and a solitary Doordarshan camera recording the match for posterity, the 19-year-old stepped up her game to match the occasion and wound up with an impressive record of not having dropped a set through seven matches, including two in the qualifying event.

It was Gumulya's fourth singles title in six finals, and the second on Indian soil following her win in Hyderabad.

The Indonesian girl, sporting knee-straps on both legs, had won her last title a couple of years ago back home in Jakarta and had lost precious time thereafter due to a knee injury.

Showcasing her skill with sharp strokeplay and an urgency to wrest the initiative early, Gumulya started on the right note, breaking the 20-year-old Korean in the second game itself to lead 3-0.

She did drop serve once each in the two sets, but the intensity of her strokeplay was such that Kim playing her maiden final struggled to match the punchy play of the fleet-footed Indonesian.

After an early exchange of breaks in the second set, Gumulya unleashed some breathtaking winners to leave the Korean stranded. The inexperienced Korean was unable to win more than two points in all in her last two service games and Gumulya stamped her seal of authority by smacking a forehand down-the-line winner on the run to emerge triumphant.

The win fetched six WTA points for Gumulya and would ensure her re-entry in the rankings list. The runner-up collected four points that would help her jump up from 1,027 in the rankings list.

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