Ankita Raina (in pic) and Prarthana Thombare have kept a little hope alive in doubles as they entered in the semi-finals after defeating Gioia Barbieri and Deniz Khazaniuk on Wednesday evening. They will play with Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith in semi-finals to secure berth in the final. But, in singles, two Indian players ended their challenge in the tournament.
Raina and Rutuja Bhosale were shown the door along with three others including second seeded Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia, third seeded Barbeiri of Italy and sixth seeded Jade Windley of Great Britain in the second round in the singles event at the $25,000 Ganesh Naik ITF Women’s Tennis Championships organised by the Navi Mumbai Sports Association under at the Ganesh Naik Tennis Complex here yesterday.
India’s top player Raina seeded fifth, raised hopes of a win but was squarely beaten by Thai player Peangtarn Plipuech in a 2 hour 5 minute tussle. The fighting Thai girl Plipuech came back from a first set loss to win 4-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-1. Georgia’s eighth seeded Oksana Kalashnikova ended the run of another Indian wild card entrant Rutuja Bhosale 6-2, 6-3 to make it to the last eight of the event.
The Great Britain’s doubles specialist Anna Smith currently ranked 572, registered one of the biggest win of the day by defeating second seeded Latvian Diana Marcinkevica (229) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in 1 hour 55 minutes. 18-year-old Kamila Kerimbayeva of Kazakhstan who was a runner up at the Pune event last week stunned third seeded Barbeiri 6-2, 6-1 in just an hour. Armenian qualifier Ani Amraghyan registered a win by defeating Jade Windley by 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to make it to the quarter-finals.
In other second round matches, top seeded Magda Linette of Poland stayed on course for the title disposing of Thailand’s Nungnadda Wannasuk 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour and 7 minutes. In a battle of teens, Georgia’s eighth seeded Oksana Kalashnikova ended the run of wild card entrant Rutuja Bhosale of India 6-2, 6-3. Bhosale had the faith of the organisers going through the first round outplaying another Indian Rishika Sunkara 6-4,6-2 in a late evening match yesterday.
In one of the best matches of the day, 21-year-old Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand currently ranked 408, ended the Indian challenge in the singles event accounting for fifth seeded Ankita Raina 4-6,7-6 (7-5), 6-1.
In the first set, Raina broke the hard serving Plipuech in the ninth game to win the set 6-4. In the second set, Raina led 5-4 and 6-5, but Plipuech held on in the tenth game and twelfth games forcing a tiebreaker.