Tennis nationals: Rutuja stuns top seed Prerna

October 11th, 2011 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) Rutuja Bhosale produced a power-packed performance to shock top-seed Prerna Bhambri 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 and enter the second round of Fenesta National Tennis Championship at the DLTA complex here Tuesday.

The 15-year-old Pune girl dished out stunning angles and fluent groundstrokes to get past Prerna, to whom she had lost in straight sets in their first meeting at the same venue in June.

She, however, was a transformed player this day and matched Prerna stroke by stroke to go up a set.

The 18-year-old Prerna, however, stepped up her game in the second and soon it was a set all.

The Delhi girl was then quick to move up 3-1 in the decider before being broken back. A stream of errors allowed Rutuja to inflict another break in the ninth game, only to drop her serve immediately, when she was serving for the match.

She got another opportunity in the next game and this time she did not fumble in serving out the match.

A beaming Rutuja, who is coached by former Davis Cupper and Arjuna Awardee Sandip Kirtane at Pune’s Deccan Gymkhana, admitted working on her game after losing to Prerna in the quarterfinals of ITF women’s tournament in June.

“It was my first senior tournament and I was playing Prerna for the first time. She hits the ball very hard and I had difficulty matching up to her pace. After that I started hitting with men players in my academy to add punch to my strokes,” said a beaming Rutuja, who won the Asian Closed Junior Championship in Chennai earlier this year.

“I was expecting it to be a tough match today and I am happy to win. She really thrives on the pace and if you do not give her that, then you can have a crack at her. I hope to continue doing my best and also do well in under-18 event.”

Prerna’s cousin Yuki, however had to face no such hiccups and breezed into the men’s singles second round with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Vivek Shokeen.

Second-seeded Yuki, who is returning from a knee injury, said he is fit and raring to do well at the tournament.

“Vivek could be a tricky player. I hit a lot with him and I am happy to get through. I know I will be chased by the players here,” Yuki said.

“My knee is fine now and I played some competitive tennis in Indonesia. I felt I lacked a bit of match practice. So I will do my best here to get some confidence from here.”

In the other men’s singles matches, top seed Vishnu Vardhan had to dig deep to overcome 1999 champion Sunil Sipaeya 7-6(3), 6-3. He next plays qualifier Ronak Manuja.

In the women’s singles first round, veteran Rushmi Chakravarty hardly broke sweat in dismissing Delhi girl Vaniya Dangwal 6-1, 6-0. Comeback girl Isha Lakhani too had it easy as she packed off Aishwarya Aggarwal 6-0, 6-1.

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