Palha advances to second round in ITF

May 9th, 2011 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Natasha Palha was the only Indian to advance to the second round on the first day of the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA complex here Monday.

Palha, who came through the qualifiers, overcame lucky loser Ambika Pande 6-4, 6-4. She now plays eighth-seeded German Jessica Sabeshinskaja for a place in the last eight.
Sabeshinskaja brushed aside Indian wildcard Ankita Bhatia 6-0, 6-3.

Another Indian wildcard Nova Patel gave a tough fight to South Korea’s Da Hye Kim, before going down 6-7(4), 4-6.

Under a blistering sun, Patel and Kim exchanged breaks in a prolonged first set before it entered a tie-break. Kim prevailed in the tie-break to move up a set after nearly an hour-and-half long battle.

In the second set, Patel was broken straightaway in the first game but pulled one back in the fourth. The two again exchanged breaks in the seventh and the eighth game before Kim snatched the decisive break in the ninth. She then served out the set and the match, that lasted a little over two hours.

In another first round match, Briton Manisha Foster had it easy against Nehel Sahni 6-0, 6-3.

Veteran Rushmi Chakravarthy seeded fourth will open against compatriot Prerna Bhambri Tuesday while national champion and wildcard Ratnika Batra will take on Chinese qualifier Jiayuan Xue.

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