Indian representation over in women’s ITFDecember 24th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) Ankita Bhambri fought hard but failed to clear the second hurdle and so did Shikha Uberoi and Poojashree Venkatesh to end India’s fight in the $50,000 women’s ITF tournament at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) stadium here Wednesday. While Ankita went down fighting 2-6,6-4,4-6 to eighth-seeded Yuliya Beygelzimer of Ukrain, Shikha lost to Hong Kong’s Ling Zhang 4-6, 6-7(3). Poojashree was shown the door by third seed Czech Sandra Zahlavova winning 6-4,6-1.
Yuliya, who beat Sanaa Bhambri, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round, gave a similar treatment to sibling Ankita in the first set, breaking serve in the third and seventh game.
But Ankita shrugged off her bad start in the second set. She served well, varied the pace of her shots and showed good court-craft to break Yuliya in the fourth game. The Ukranian, however, broke back in the seventh game. She came close to capture Ankita’s serve in the ninth game but the Indian survived, saving four break-points.
The decisive break for Ankita came in the tenth game and it was a set-all.
In the decider, the two traded breaks till the fourth game but Yuliya nosed ahead by breaking Ankita to go up 3-2. A rash of errors from Ankita didn’t help her cause and it was all over for her as she netted forehand in the tenth game.
“The fact that I am playing a tournament after a month did have an impact. I lacked a bit in match sharpness. I came back in the second set but I was on the back foot in the third set,” said Ankita.
Wildcard Shikha, who raised hopes after her straight sets win over the seventh seed I-Hsuan Hwang in the first round, lacked the intensity and focus against Zhang. The US-based Indian, however, began well breaking Zhang in the fifth game of the first set, but was broken back the next game. Both dropped serves in successive games but Zhang took a set lead by breaking Shikha in the tenth game.
In the second set, a dispirited Shikha was broken in the fourth game when she hit a forehand ino the net. But she kept her hopes alive with a break in the fifth game. Both held their serves well thereafter to take the match to the tie-break, where Zhang prevailed.
In the other singles, top seed Masa Zec-Peskiric from Slovenia was stretched to three sets by Briton Emily Webley-Smith before winning 4-6, 7-5,6-3.
However, fourth seed Anna Gerasimou was put out out by Japanese Chiaki Okadaue 6-7(3), 6-7(3) while Bojana Jovanovski registered an upset win over fifth seed Melanie Klaffner 6-2,6-2.
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