Tennis

Sahaja gets the better of Karman

Sahaja on the way to beating Karman in the first round.

Sahaja on the way to beating Karman in the first round. | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

Sahaja Yamalapalli knocked out the champion of the last event Karman Thandi 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Wednesday.

In the cool environment of the evening, and under floodlights, Sahaja played a sharp game, moving energetically, hitting with purpose and precision, to close the escape routes of the wiry Karman.

With Sahaja matching Karman stroke for stroke, as she had done last week while losing 4-6 in the decider in the first round, there was pressure on Karman’s serve. Karman could not get into her rhythm and was unable to arrest her dipping fortunes.

There was a bit of nervousness when Sahaja missed a couple of match points, but she closed it out for a memorable victory.

In the pre-quarterfinals, Sahaja will meet Sowjanya Bavisetti.

Second seed Ankita Raina had a strong start but got caught in a tight match against qualifier Elena Pridankina who was particularly fluent with her nicely timed backhand. Ankita led 6-0, 2-0 before losing the second set in the tie-break. In the decider, she asserted her authority, after enduring a three-hour battle under the hot sun in the morning session.

Humera Baharmus dictated terms to the top seed Diana Marcinkevica in the first set, but the Latvian turned it around thereafter.

Qualifier Sanjana Sirimalla stretched fourth seed Ekaterina Yashina to three sets. Mihika Yadav got past seventh seed Misaki Matsuda, who retired early in the second set.

Rutuja Bhosale warmed up with a 6-4, 6-4 win over qualifier Farhat Aleen Qamar. Shreya Tatavarthy recovered from being down 3-5 in the decider, saved a match point to beat Kashish Bhatia 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(8).

The results: First round: Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) bt Humera Baharmus 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 Saki Imamura (Jpn) bt Zeel Desai 2-6, 6-4 (retired); Sahaja Yamalapalli bt Karman Thandi 6-1, 6-2; Ekaterina Yashina (Rus) bt Sanjana Sirimalla 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2; Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Priska Madelyn Nugroho (Ina) 6-4, 6-2; Mihika Yadav bt Misaki Matsuda (Jpn) 6-1, 2-1 (retired); Rutuja Bhosale bt Farhat Aleen Qamar 6-4, 6-1; Vineetha Mummadi bt Ananyaa Bhargava 6-1, 6-3; Ikumi Yamazaki (Jpn) bt Momoko Kobori (Jpn) 6-3, 6-2; Punnin Kovapitukted (Tha) bt Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) 6-3, 6-3; Shreya Tatavarthy bt Kashish Bhatia 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(8); Sofia Costoulas (Bel) bt Akanksha Nitture 6-1, 6-2; Ankita Raina bt Elena Pridankina (Rus) 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-1.


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 5:49:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/sahaja-gets-the-better-of-karman/article65582431.ece