Kinoshita not so lucky in the final against Shlomo

May 14th, 2011 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Israeli Keren Shlomo overcame a tenacious Misa Kinoshita of Japan 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 to claim her second successive $10,000 ITF tournament here Saturday at the DLTA complex.

Third-seeded Shlomo, who last week won the first title at Hyderabad, had not lost a set here until Kinoshita, entering the main draw as a lucky loser, played a near flawless tennis to take the first set.

The diminutive Japanese, who took out India’s Prerna Bhambri in the semifinal Friday, impressed with her court craft and fluent ground strokes. She mostly manoeuvred to clinch long rallies by cleverly varying her pace and kept Shlomo guessing.

Kinoshita’s game, however, fell apart in the subsequent sets and the Israeli was quick to seize the opportunity.

Shlomo kept attacking Kinoshita’s backhand, which suddenly got shaky and error-prone. And the few time she was in trouble she wriggled out with a big serve.

The Israeli quickly jumped to a 4-1 lead in the second set and a backhand slice hit wide by the Japanese gave her another break in the eight game to make it a set-all.

Shlomo was in complete control of the decider and a tired-looking Kinoshita dropped her serve twice to go down 0-4. But the Japanese was not yet willing to throw in the towel and with some stunning returns pulled one back in the fifth game.

She looked all set to even out things in the seventh game, when she whipped a backhand down the line winner on Shlomo’s second serve, to get to the breakpoint. But the Israeli served an ace to get out of trouble and went 5-2 up slamming two serves that brooked no response.

She then broke Kinoshita to take the set and the match after a little more than two hours.

Shlomo, 23, said she will now be looking to excel at higher level tournaments.

“I have had two good weeks. I had trained hard before coming here. It was tough for me today, she (Kinoshita) played the first set really well, but her game dipped in the second set and I started playing better,” Shlomo, who is coached by former India player Manisha Malhotra on the Indian circuit, said.

“I would now like to play more in $25,000 tournaments. I feel I am prepared for that level.”

Kinoshita admitted to being tired towards the end of the match.

“I have been continuously playing for two weeks. The weather is really hot and I got a bit tired towards the end. I didn’t do that well in Hyderabad, but I am happy to reach the final here. I didn’t have a ranking and it was important for me to play as many tournaments and do well,” Kinoshita said.

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