Tennis

Danka has the measure of Ankita

Dominant: Danka Kovinic packed too much power for Ankita Raina.

Dominant: Danka Kovinic packed too much power for Ankita Raina.  

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India’s top player goes down in straight sets

Summoned to the centre court within 24 hours of an exhilarating match against Rutuja Bhosale on Wednesday evening, India’s top-ranked player, Ankita Raina, was off-colour against Montenegro’s top player Danka Kovinic in their second round match of the $125000 L& T Mumbai Open at the Cricket Club of India.

After competing against the equally-talented Rutuja for two and a quarter hours in the opening round, Ankita lost to Danka 6-2, 7-5. Her defeat ended India’s challenge in the singles competition.

Struggle

Ankita struggled right through the match and held service only twice, both in the second set when she showed signs of pulling back from 1-4. An appalling line call that went against Danka — once ranked World No. 46 — saw the second set tied at 5-5, but thereafter the European held her nerves to advance to the quarterfinals.

Danka was in control of the match, except in the second set when Ankita showed some purpose and gumption to stay in the match and actually led 5-4. She did not have the energy to cause a turnaround, lost the next three games and exited from the tournament.

“The three setter (against Rutuja) could be the reason, but one can play three-setters upto the quarterfinals and match after match. I was a bit slow in the first set and not moving as much I did yesterday. Not able to hold my serve was not playing in my mind; I was trying to find a way out,” said Ankita who has played five matches post the Asian Games, importantly after being laid low by dengue, and played three setters twice.

The results (second round): Saisai Zheng (Chn) bt Bibiane Schoofs (Ned) 6-4,6-2; Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) bt Barbora Stefkova (Cze) 6-3,6-4; Danka Kovinic (Mne) bt Ankita Raina (Ind) 6-2,7-5. First round: Ankita bt Rutuja Bhosale 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:29:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/danka-has-the-measure-of-ankita/article25394266.ece

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