Close call for Rishika in women`s tennis

Chennai: Third seeded Rishika Sunkara survived a close match to get past Swetha Sree Hari 6-7(0), 6-4, 6-4 to enter the quarter-finals of the K.S. Narayanan Memorial ITF Women`s Futures tennis tournament here Wednesday.

Also advancing to the last eight were top seed Prarthana Thomabare and No.4 Xi-Yao Wan from China while fifth seeded Sharmadaa Balu went down to Thailand`s Varunya Wongteanchai.

In the first set, Swetha unsettled the tall and hard hitting Rishika to force a tie-break. Rishika faltered and Swetha kept her cool to win the tie break 7-0 for a 1-0 lead.

However, Rishika recovered her poise to play strategic tennis against Swetha in the second and third sets, managing to keep herself ahead and close out both 6-4, 6-4.

The defeat of Sharmadaa came as a surprise. Wongteanchai stroked fluently giving Sharmadaa no chance to settle down into a groove.

In spite of the heat, the clash between Wan and Efriliya Herlina of Indonesia provided exciting tennis. The Indonesian sped past the Chinese in the tie break 8-6 to win the first set. The tall and lanky Chinese then got into a groove and out-stroked the Indonesian to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-4.

Pre-quarter-final results:

Singles: 1-Prarthana G. Thombare bt Sharon Sanchana Paul 6-2, 7-6(1); Varunya Wongteanchai (THA) bt 5-Sharmadaa Balu 6-1, 6-0; 4-Xi-Yao Wang (CHN) bt Efriliya Herlina (INA) 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4; 6-Nidhi Chilumula bt Pranjala Yadlapalli 7-5, 4-6, 6-1; 7-Eetee Maheta bt Chun-Yan He (CHN) 6-3, 6-1; 3-Rishika Sunkara bt Swetha Sree Hari 6-7(0), 6-4, 6-4; 8-Hirono Watanabe (JPN) bt Sneha Padamata 6-2, 6-1; 2-Natasha Palha bt Amrita Mukherjee 6-2, 6-1.

Doubles: 1-Natasha Palha/Prarthana G. Thombare bt Vaniya Dangwal/Sneha Padamata 6-3, 6-2; 4-Nidhi Chilumula/Xi-Yao Wang (CHN) bt Yui Saikai (JPN)/Preethi Ujjini 6-0, 6-2; 3-Sharmadaa Balu/Rishika Sunkara bt Nithya Raj Babu Raj/Tanisha Rohira 6-1, 6-1; 2-Hirono Watanabe (JPN)/Varunya Wongteanchai (THA) bt Amrita Mukherjee/Likitha Shetty 6-2, 6-2.