Sanaa, Rushmi reach ITF tournament semi-finals
New Delhi: India's Sanaa Bhambri dispatched compatriot Sheethal Goutham 6-2, 6-3 to enter the semi-finals of the USD 10,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament at the DLTA stadium here Thursday.
Sanaa will now play Chinese Sirui He, who beat South Korean Jung-Yoon Shin 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In the other quarterfinals, top-seeded Indian Poojashree Venkatesha overcame a tough challenge from sixth-seeded Israeli Keren Shlomo 7-5, 7-5. Poojashree next plays eighth-seeded compatriot Rushmi Chakravarthi, who outclassed Shivika Burman 6-1, 6-1.
Sheethal, who is playing her third tournament after making a comeback on the circuit after three years, could not match up to Sanaa's sharp game and made a stream of errors to go down to the Delhi girl.
Sheethal, who took out fourth-seeded Isha Lakhani in the second round, was broken early in the first set to trail 2-4 and when she dropped her serve again in the seventh game, all Sanaa had to do was to serve out the set.
Sanaa got off to a wobbly start in the second set saving two break points in the second game and then squandering three break points in the next. She broke Sheethal in the fifth game when the later hit a forehand long but dropped her serve in the next game to make it 3-3.
Sanaa then broke Sheethal in the seventh and the ninth game to close out the set and the match.
However, it turned out to be a tough match for Poojashree, who won an ITF tournament at Bangalore last week. After winning the first set against Shlomo, the top seed was trailing 2-5 in the second set but then reeled off five game to notch up a thriller.
“I played Shlomo last week but then she was not serving that well. Today she served very well on crucial points and also came up with some great returns. I had a good last week and I am confident of playing my best,” she said.