Navi Mumbai: ITF tourney debuts in satellite city

Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 12:02pm IST | Place: Vashi | Agency: DNA
16 inlaying matches were played on the first day of the lawn tennis tourney.

The first Ganesh Naik ITF lawn tennis tournament kicked off at the recently developed Deco Turf court tennis at the Navi Mumbai Sports Association (NMSA) in Vashi on Saturday. A total of 16 inlaying matches were played on the first day. By the time it was 4pm, two Indian players had won their first matches in the qualifying round.

Bhuvana Kalva (ITF 764) and Sharmada Balu (ITF 823) won their first qualifying match. Balu defeated Preethi Ujjini (India) by 6-0 and 6-0, while Kalva beat Krishnali Bhonsle (India) 6-1 and 6-1. Janina Toljan of Austria, with ITF rank 564, defeated Riya Bhatia from India in two straight sets 6-2 and 6-2. The qualifying matches will be continued on Sunday.

Top women tennis players from 21 countries including Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Lativia, among others, are participating in the first season of the lawn tennis tournament.

The tournament, organised by NMSA, will witness 100 ranking players in action for a whopping $25000 (Rs15,00,000) prize money.

Navi Mumbai, according to the organiser, has become the seventh city in the state to host an international tennis event.

The naming ceremony of the complex will be held on December 8 at 4.30pm at the complex by MP Sanjeev Naik.

The main draw matches will held between December 9 and 14. The players have been divided into two categories - the first one is from the main draw, who have already qualified for the tournament and the second will play the qualifying round on December 7 and 8. A total of 20 players are from the main draw and 8 will come at the end of qualifying round and the remaining 4 will make a wild card entry, one each from ITF, AITA, MSALTA and NMSA.

Two players from India, Ankita Raina from Gujarat and Prarthana Thombare, will play in the main round.

Score sheet
Bhuvana Kalva (ITF 764) and Sharmada Balu (ITF 823) won their first qualifying match

Balu defeated Preethi Ujjini (India) by 6-0 and 6-0, while Kalva beat Krishnali Bhonsle (India) 6-1 and 6-1. Janina Toljan of Austria, with ITF rank 564, defeated Riya Bhatia from India in two straight sets 6-2 and 6-2. Two Indian players, Ankita Raina from Gujarat, and Prarthana Thombare will play in the final round.


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