Ankita Raina downs Romanian qualifier to enter NECC-ITF final

India's top woman singles player Ankita Raina, the fourth seed, entered her third USD 25,000 event final when she ousted Romanian qualifier Cristina Ene in three sets in the semi-finals of NECC-ITF tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana here on Friday.

Ankita Raina downs Romanian qualifier to enter NECC-ITF final

Pune: India's top woman singles player Ankita Raina, the fourth seed, entered her third USD 25,000 event final when she ousted Romanian qualifier Cristina Ene in three sets in the semi-finals of NECC-ITF tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana here on Friday.

The 21-year-old Raina, who held a WTA ranking of 294 going into the tournament, got past her rival 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to a summit clash with British sixth seed Katy Dunne tomorrow.

Sixth seed Dunne easily overcame her Serbian rival Sofia Shapatava 6-1, 6-2 in the other semi final.

"It's a good feeling to enter the final in the town where I am training now (under coach Hemant Bendrey)," Raina told PTI after her hard-fought victory over Ene.

"She is a qualifier and a junior too but she plays aggressively. I was patient," said Raina, who has never won a USD 25,000 singles event previously and has four USD 10,000 singles titles to her credit.

Raina, who said she is aiming to break into the top 200 or even 150 next year, held 15 break points and converted 9 of those while dropping her own serve on five occasions.

Raina and 19-year-old big-serving Dunnne, who is ranked 325, have never played each other before in their careers.

"I have played a lot of WTA events this year and have played against a lot of top players which has helped me improve my game though my ranking has not gone up much," said Raina.

"I can't say what my ranking would be after this tournament," said Raina, who was ranked a career-high 262 rank in June this year.

"I now want to make it to the qualifiers of the French Open (in May 2015), though I would not be able to do it at the Australian Open (in January)," she added.

If Raina wins tomorrow, she will collect 50 WTA points and champion's prize money of USD 3,919 (around Rs 2,45,000).

If she ends up as the runner-up, Raina would take home 30 points along with prize money of USD 2,091 (around Rs 1,30,600).

The women's doubles title was won by the unseeded Russian-Serbian pair of Anna Morgina and Nina Stojanovic who shocked the top-seeded Ukraine-Georgia duo of Anastasia Vasylyeva and Oksana Kalashnikova in straight sets in the final held in the afternoon.

The winning pair, who upset Japanese second seeds Miyabi Inoue-Miki Miyamura in the semis yesterday, clinched a 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory in the title contest.

The winning doubles pair got 50 points and also pocketed USD 1,437 while the runners-up took away 30 points and USD 719.

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