ITF World Tennis Tour C’ship: Akanksha beats Sathwika to reach quarters

Akanksha Nitture registered an upset victory over her experienced rival Sathwika Sama to reach the quarter-finals of the 15K KSLTA ITF World Tennis Tour Women-s Championship at the KSLTA, here on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Akanksha, who went through two tough qualifying rounds before making it to the main draw, beat eighth seed Sama 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in a clash that lasted a little more than two hours.

In a power-packed match, Akanksha did start off shakily losing her serve with two double faults and Sama took advantage in the next game to go 2-0 up. However, Akanksha returned the favour by winning the next two games and the pattern followed for the next couple of games as well to hand a 4-2 lead to Sama.

However, the Mumbai lass upped her game and was aided by unforced errors committed by her opponent (three double faults in the eighth game) and won four games in a row to take the first set.

Stung by the reverse, Sama made a comeback in the second set. Holding her serve after a long battle in the second game, she broke ‘kanksha’s serve in the next to go 2-1 up but got broken in the next. Sama went for broke and won the next four games to seal the second set at 6-2.

Keeping the momentum, the 21-year-old from Hyderabad, Sama won the first two games. However, with some superb serves, Akanksha not only fought back into the game but maintained the tempo and added the flavour of the drop shots as well to breeze through the next four games and emerge victorious.

Meanwhile, the other seeds remaining in the fray crossed the last 16 hurdle without much ado with top seed Rutuja Bhosale quelling the challenge of wild card entrant Reshma Murari in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 while third seed Sowjanya Bavisetty outplayed Soha Sadiq 6-2, 6-2.

Pranjala Yadapalli, seeded fourth, brushed past another wild card Yubarani Banerjee 6-3, 6-3 to make it to the last-eight stage along with sixth seed Vaidehi Chaudhari, who beat another qualifier Sai Samhitha Chamarthi 6-3, 6-2.




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