Mumbai Open | Kudermetova wards off Sahaja’s challenge

The 20-year-old Russian, who had won the title last Sunday in the $40,000 event in Indore after having played the third qualifying round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, played a high quality game to turn the match on its head

February 09, 2024 12:42 am | Updated February 11, 2024 07:09 am IST - Mumbai

Upping the ante: Kudermetova went on a higher gear after losing in the first set.

Upping the ante: Kudermetova went on a higher gear after losing in the first set. | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

Polina Kudermetova produced a sharp game midway through the third set to beat Sahaja Yamalapalli 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the pre-quarterfinals of the L&T Mumbai Open WTA tennis tournament at the CCI on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Russian, who had won the title last Sunday in the $40,000 event in Indore after having played the third qualifying round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, played a high quality game to turn the match on its head.

Down 2-5 in the third set, Kudermetova stepped it up and went on a higher gear. Sahaja had beaten the top seed Kayla Day in the first round and had the confidence. The 162nd-ranked Kudermetova went up to a different level after losing the first tamely. Sahaja could not put a foot wrong in that first set, but her level dipped marginally in the second which was good enough for the wiry Russian to grab her chance.

Earlier in the evening, Rutuja Bhosale fought hard despite ankle injury to stretch eighth seed Katie Volynets of USA to three sets. Rutuja missed set-points in the first set but came back strong in the second. However, the American, who had beaten Ankita Raina in straight sets in the first round, had the match in control in the decider, for a 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-1 victory.

Rutuja converted eight of 22 break points, and Katie converted eight of 16 break-points.

The 16-year-old Russian sensation withdrew from her quarterfinal match owing to ill-health, letting Storm Hunter of Australia move ahead with a walkover.

In doubles quarterfinals, Prarthana Thombare continued to play smart in partnership with Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands to cruise through.

Other results:

Second round: Moyuka Uchijima (Jpn) bt Dalma Galfi (Hun) 6-2, 6-1; Katie Volynets (USA) bt Rutuja Bhosale 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-1; Sohyun Park (Kor) bt Camilla Rosatello (Ita) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Doubles (quarterfinals): Arianne Hartono (Ned) & Prarthana Thombare bt Sapfo Sakellaridi (Gre) & Olivia Tjandramulia (Aus) 6-4, 6-2; Naiktha Bains (GBR) & Fanny Stollar (Hun) bt Anastasia Tikhonova & Moyuka Uchijima (Jpn) 6-2, 6-2.

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