The spectators at the centre court of Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi didn’t expect Rutuja Bhosale to win against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. For that matter, even the Indian herself must not have thought of overpowering her higher-ranked opponent.
But hopes were still dashed as the last Indian in the fray went out of the singles challenge of the Royal Indian Open WTA Challenger series here on Wednesday. Rutuja, who had won many a heart with her first-round upset win over Korea’s So-Ra Lee, couldn’t put the same energy against the seventh seed on Wednesday and went down 6-3 6-0.
Though Rutuja didn’t play bad tennis, it was just her experience at this level that fell short ahead of the Ukrainian, who is currently ranked 156. Rutuja, playing in her maiden WTA event, had no replies to Elina’s groundstrokes and drop shots. She committed two double faults in her first service game and though she immediately broke back to draw level at 2-2 in the opening set, that wasn’t enough to save the match.
In another tie, third seed Croatian Donna Vekic was stretched by Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia
Results (II round): Singles: 3-Donna Vekic (CRO) bt Oksana Kalashnikova 6-2 4-6 6-0; Luksika Kum-khum (THA) bt 4-Eva Birnerova (CZE) 3-6 6-3 6-1; 7-Elina Svitolina (UKR) bt Rutuja Bhosale (IND) 6-3 6-0; Doubles: Yi-Fan Xu/Yi-Miao Zhou (CHN) bt 3-Monique Adamczak/Stephanie Bengson (AUS) 6-3 6-2