Tennis

ITF Women | Zeel fights back from a sticky situation

Powering through: Zeel Desai outclassed Nikola Breckova of the Czech Republic in the first round. Special Arrangement.  

Zeel Desai knows how to get out of a sticky spot — literally and figuratively. The fourth seed’s strength of resolve, a sound temperament and consistently fluent strokes on both flanks helped her outclass Nikola Breckova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Tuesday.

Down 0-4 and having got both her feet stuck on a spot on the hard court while negotiating a rally early in the match, Zeel called for medical attention to fix her twisted ankle.

Once back on her feet, after the ankle was taped, Zeel overwhelmed the Czech with the intensity of her strokes, winning 12 of the next 14 games.

Zeel’s performance clearly showed the improved quality of her game which had seen her make the final of a tournament and another semifinal in Tunisia earlier this year, on her return to the professional circuit.

In another interesting match, former Asian junior champion Mihika Yadav lost her way from the door step of victory and got beaten 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 by Elena Jamshidi of Denmark.

Sravya Shivani teased wild card entrant Jagmeet Kaur Grewal like a puppet on string with her crafty game in racing to victory for the loss of four games.

Top seed Riya Bhatia and third seed Rutuja Bhosale gave glimpses of their explosive game in taming their opponents Yubarani Banerjee and Likhitha Kalava.

The results: First round: Riya Bhatia bt Yubarani Banerjee 6-1, 6-3; Elena Jamshidi (Den) bt Mihika Yadav 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5; Pia Lovric (Slo) bt Lucie Petruzelova (Cze) 7-5, 6-4; Zeel Desai bt Nikola Breckova (Cze) 6-4, 6-2; Humera Baharmus bt Shrivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty 6-3, 7-5; Sravya Shivani bt Jagmeet Kaur Grewal 6-4, 6-0; Rutuja Bhosale bt Likhitha Kalava 6-0, 6-2.

Doubles: Miriam Bianca Bulgaru (Rus) & Irina Khromacheva (Rus) bt Nidhi Chilumula & Saumya Vig 6-2, 6-3; Sai Samhitha & Soha Sadiq bt Emma Van Poppel (Ned) & Arthi Muniyan 6-1, 4-6, [14-12]; Sharmada Balu & Prerna Bhambri bt Humera Baharmus & Likhitha Kalava 6-0, 6-2; Sowjanya Bavisetti & Prarthana Thombare bt Shefali Arora & Ai Dedeepya 6-0, 6-2; Yubarani Banerjee & Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Renne Singla & Aayushi Tanwar 6-1, 6-3.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 4:12:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/itf-women-zeel-fights-back-from-a-sticky-situation/article33974439.ece

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