Ankita Raina bows out of Belgium ITF event

New Delhi: Ankita Raina put up a valiant fight and saved two match points before losing the singles quarterfinal of the USD 25,000 ITF women`s event in Koksijde, Belgium.

The India number one singles player lost 2-6 7-5 5-7 to Ukraine`s Sofiya Kovalets on Friday.

Ankita saved a break point in the third game of the opening set but lost the second one to trail 1-2 but broke back immediately, latching on to the first chance in the next game.

The two players struggled with their serve and Ankita again handed a break to her rival in the fifth game.

Sofiya held her own to make it a comfortable 4-2 lead and ran away with the first set with another break.

Things were far from rosy for Ankita in the second set as she trailed 1-3 but fought back to make it 4-4.

Soon she found herself in trouble again as she was down by two match points at 15-40 but saved both in the 10th game to level the set and broke Sofiya in the 12th to draw parity in the match.

Despite having the momentum, Ankita began the third set by dropping her serve and was soon trailing 0-3, having lost her serve in the third game as well.

There was another twist in the tale as Ankita won the next three games to make it 3-all but dropped serve in the seventh game to again provide a small window to Sofiya.

The Ukrainian took the eighth game at love for a 5-3 lead and Ankita was now serving to stay in the match.

She managed to hold but lost her serve again in the 11th game to allow Sofiya serve for the match.

The Ukrainian finally closed the gruelling contest by converting her third match point.

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