Karman ousts Kanika in Gulbarga Open tennis

Gulbarga (Karnataka), Nov 23 (IANS) Karman Kaur Thandi, 17, played top-class tennis to oust United States based Kanika Vaidya in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to move into the last 16 of the ITF Gulbarga Open here on Monday.

The battle between the two foreign based players was expected to be tight. But the World No.778, a resident of Toronto, was clearly ahead with her game in comparison to Kanika, who seemed out of sorts.

Karman served with power and her returns at times brooked no reply from Kanika. The tall and lanky Karman broke Kanika in the fifth game. Trailing love-40 on Kanika’s serve, Karman snatched five points in a row with some amazing tennis to claim the break.

She held serves like a pro to clinch the first set.

The second set saw Kanika breaking Karman in the second game with the Canadian resident committing too many unforced errors.

Just when it seemed that the match would witness a decider, Karman stormed back into the contest, breaking Kanika in the third and fifth games while ensuring she held serves to move into the next round where she awaits the winner of the contest between top seed Prerna Bhambri of India and Xi-Yao Wang of China.

Meanwhile four seeds, No.2 Natasha Palha, No.4 Prarthna Thombare, No.6 seed Nidhi Chilumula and No.8 Riya Bhatia breezed into the second round with comfortable victories over their respective opponents.

Thombare ousted wildcard Abinikka Renganathan 7-5, 6-2 and Chilumula bested qualifier Simran Kejriwal 6-1, 6-0. Natasha puffed out Sai Dedeepya Yeddula 6-1, 6-1 and Riya, who made the final of last week’s tournament here, sent out Thailand’s Plobrung Plipuech 7-6(8), 6-2.

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