Special Correspondent

It was an impressive performance by Rushmi

She will face Australia’s Renee Binnie next

NEW DELHI: Rushmi Chakravarthi defied a young Seo-Kyung Kang of Korea on way to a memorable 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4 victory in over three hours in tough weather conditions in the pre-quarterfinals of the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Wednesday.

It was an impressive performance from the 31-year-old Rushmi as she put every ounce of her energy in finding the hard road to victory against the 20-year-old Korean who had won the title last week in Mumbai.

Rushmi was at her wit’s end on a close call on her fourth matchpoint, but two matchpoints later, the Indian Oil officer from Chennai unleashed a crisp backhand passing shot to leave the Korean stranded.

Courageous display

Rushmi played a high quality game consistently throughout the match, but it was her courage and the fighting spirit that won admiration.

In the first set, Rushmi lost the tie-break after both the players held their serve for 12 games, a rarity at any level in women’s tennis.

Rushmi dropped her serve in the first game of the second set, but broke right back, and never looked back.

At 5-5 in the seconed set, Rushmi saved a breakpoint to stay afloat and broke the Korean in the next game to force the decider.

Satisfying win

Into the decider, Kang led 4-3 with a break in the seventh game, but Rushmi once again broke back to be on par. She served well to go ahead 5-4, and converted her sixth matchpoint on her opponent’s serve to record a satisfying triumph.

She went on to win her doubles a little later to make the semifinals. It was a clear statement that age had nothing to do with a healthy attitude.

Rushmi will face Renee Binnie of Australia who capitalised on a sore shoulder of Isha Lakhani for a cake-walk into the quarterfinals. It was par till 4-4, but Isha failed to win another game thereafter.

The Bhambri sisters, Ankita and Sanaa, were rusty and thus it was no surprise that the first and third seeds bowed out, winning a mere 10 games between them.

Parija Maloo, pursuing a Business Administration course in the University of South Alabama, US, asserted her class with a straight-set victory over qualifier Treta Bhattacharya. She will meet the tall and athletic Duan Ying-Ying of China who had ousted Ankita.

The results:

Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Duan Ying-Ying (Chn) bt Ankita Bhambri 6-2, 6-3; Parija Maloo bt Treta Bhattacharya 6-3, 7-5; Zhong Yi (Chn) bt Sanaa Bhambri 6-2, 6-3; Yoon-Young Jeong (Kor) bt Jung-Yoon Shin (Kor) 6-1, 6-0; Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Seo-Kyung Kang (Kor) 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4; Renee Binnie (Aus) bt Isha Lakhani 6-4, 6-0; Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Rashmi Teltumbe 6-2, 6-3; Soon-Mi Seo (Kor) bt Marisa Gianotti (Aus) 7-6(1), 6-0.

Doubles (quarterfinals): He Chun-Yan (Chn) and Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Yoon-Young Jeong and Seo-Kyung Kang (Kor) 6-4, 6-1; Treta Bhattacharya and Shivika Burman bt Shweta Rana and Tanvi Shah 6-4, 6-1; Duan Ying-Ying and Li Ting (Chn) bt Alisa Ogorodova (Uzb) and Parija Maloo 6-2, 6-1; Kristina Pejkovic (Aus) and Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Soon-Mi Seo and Jung-Yoon Shin (Kor) 6-4, 6-4.

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