New Delhi: Ankita Raina grabbed her maiden ITF women’s singles crown on Saturday when she thrashed local girl Prerna Bhambri 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the USD 10,000 ITF Women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA courts in New Delhi.
The victory also meant that the 19-year-old completed a grand double, having won the women’s doubles crown along with Aishwarya Agarwal on Friday.
The title winning run also completed a turnaround of sorts for Ankita who had been struggling with her form and confidence levels at the start of the year.
The plan worked for Ankita. She won four women’s doubles titles in the last two months and carried that confidence in this tournament.
The seventh seed did not drop a single set in the tournament and gave away just four games in her straight set thrashing of top seed Anja Prislan of Slovenia.
Even in the final, Ankita never looked under pressure against the local girl and showed enough patience to wait for her chances.
Both girls served confidently in the first set and it was only in the 10th game that Ankita got an opening and the Gujarat girl, who shifted to Pune to train under Hemant Bendrey five years ago, was ready for the kill.
Prerna struck back in the second set by breaking Ankita’s serve in the first game but then the former national champion stepped up the power in her ground strokes and broke the third seed in the second, sixth and eighth game to pocket the match and the title.
“It’s a great feeling to win the doubles crown and justify the faith put in me by my coach and the support team that has been standing by my side all along,” said the student of BMCC college.
Ankita will again return to the national capital after a week to play the second leg of the USD 10,000 ITF women’s tournament and would be looking for an encore.