ITF women’s tennis: Indian challenge fizzles out in singles

The Indian challenge ended in the singles ended in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF WTT Cup tennis championships with the ouster of fourth seed Rutuja Bhosale, seventh seed Zeel Desai, and wildcard Vaidehi Chaudhari.

Third seed Laura Pigossi of Brazil ended the good run of Zeel 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 42 minutes. She proved too strong for the Indian who had her chances in the first set.

Nevertheless, Zeel who made the semi-finals of the Delhi event last week and the quarter-finals of another event, made 13 points in two weeks to ensure that she will now be the No. 4 woman player in India.

Seasoned sixth seed Emily Webley-Smith of Great Britain came through tricky situations in the second and the third set to stop the fine run of wildcard entrant Vaidehi and won 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 32 minutes.

Vaidehi was sailing at 6-2, 3-1 before the Briton used unorthodox techniques to disturb her rhythm and staged a comeback to win the second set. In the third set too Vaidehi led 3-1 before losing six games in a row, and the match.

Vaidehi will also benefit with nine points for reaching the quarter finals, which will take her ranking to around 120 places up.

Fifth seeded Marianna Zakarlyuk of Ukraine proved too strong Rutuja and won 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes. The Indian was up 4-3 on serve but was broken twice thereafter, thus letting the Ukrainian in the match. Rutuja couldn’t get back the rhythm, served poorly, and lost.

Second seed Miriam Bianca Bulgaru of Romania scuttled the comeback bid of eighth seed Russian Irina Khromacheva, a former top 100 player. Bianca won 6-4, 7-6 (6) in two hours and 17 minutes.

In the doubles semi-finals, played in the evening session, Bianca teamed up with Riya Bhatia to outplay third seeds Sowjanya Bavisetti and Prarthana G. Thombare of India 6-2, 7-6(4).


Singles (quarter-finals): Emily Webley-Smith (Gbr) [6] bt Vaidehi Chaudhari (Ind) 2-6,6-4,6-3; Laura Pigossi (Bra) [3] bt Zeel Desai (Ind) [7] 6-4, 6-3; Marianna Zakarlyuk (Ukr) [5] bt Rutuja Bhosale (Ind) [4] 7-5, 6-2; Miriam Bianca Bulgaru (Rou) [2] bt Irina Khromacheva (Rus) [8] 6-4,7-6(6)

Doubles (semi-finals): Riya Bhatia (Ind) [2]/Miriam Bianca Bulgaru (Rou) bt Sowjanya Bavisetti (Ind) [3] / Prarthana G. Thombare (Ind) 6-2, 7-6(4)