Bengaluru girl Soha Sadiq made the home crowd proud when the second seed made a superb comeback win against the top Seed Humera Baharmus of Telengana to wrest the title in the Rs.1 lakh AITA Women’s Championship at the PBI-CSE Tennis Academy, Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence here on Saturday.
This was 22-year-old Soha’s second title in as many months in the current season.
The last time Soha had met Humera was three years ago in the final of a tournament. The match had gone to the wire with Humera emerging as champion after all three sets were decided via tie-breakers.
On Saturday, Soha was determined not to let things repeat despite the fact that she found the going tough in the initial stages of the match when she was down 0-4 in the first set. She then made a comeback, and won the next three games but it was a bit late and lost the first set 4-6.
The second set saw both opponents matching stroke for stroke until the sixth game. With a crucial break in the seventh, Soha surged ahead to close out the set without any further reply from her fancied rival.
Down 0-2 in the decider, the commerce student of the Mount Carmels College took calculated risks that paid off. Moving across the court deftly, the Karnataka No.1 won the next five games on a trot to go up 5-2 before her rival threw in the towel owing to severe pain in the leg.
“I am thrilled to win my second title of the season, especially against a player ranked better than me. I think I played my best tennis during this week,” said Soha who had reached her career-best ranking of No.8 in India.
“I hope that the worst period is over where we could not even train. I will try to keep up the good form and hope to improve and get in the top 500 (WTA ranking) by the end of this year,” said the champion who is currently ranked 1,298 in the world.
Results (seedings in prefix):
Women’s singles final: 2-Soha Sadiq (KAR) bt 1-Humera Baharmus (TS) 4-6, 6-3, 5-2 (retd)