Gulbarga: A gritty Prerna Bhambri clawed her way into the semis of the US$10,000 ITF Gulbarga Open women`s futures tennis championship at the expense of injured Emily Webley Smith of Great Britain here at the Dr. Chandrashekar Patil Stadium Thursday.
Seeded second, Emily, who lost the first set 5-7 and led 2-1 in the second, twisted her ankle while going for a return from baseline.
The Brit sought a medical timeout and got back into action but could hardly move and conceded the match to Prerna.
The first set was marked by back-to-back breaks. Prerna stayed afloat with her steady returns while Emily struggled with her first serve.
Prerna held herself for a 6-5 lead and broke Emily decisively in the twelfth game to take the set.
Rushmi Chakravarthi`s campaign also came to an end as she lost to her Chinese rival Nan Nan Zhang 6-7(2), 0-6 in the quarters.
The two traded breaks in the first two games and Rushmi had a great chance when she went 5-4 up with another break in the ninth game.
But the set went into a tie breaker and Zhang dominated the show as Rushmi netted thrice in a row to trail 2-5 and ultimately lost 2-7.
The second set was a whitewash as a resurgent Zhang simply out-hit her rival and won 6-0.
Chinese fourth seed Zi Yang also cruised into the semis with 6-1, 6-0 victory over wild card Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy.
Hard-hitting Ukranian teenager Oleksandra Korashivilli gave a torrid time to top seed Wang Yau Venise Chan with some aggressive tennis before going down 6-2, 6-7(0), 6-7(3).
Oleksandra, 16, set the pace in the first set winning 6-2 with two successive breaks in fifth and seventh games, respectively.
But Chan hit back in the second set to lead 5-2 before Oleksandra rallied to make it 5-all.
In the tie-breaker, the Ukranian girl`s errors proved costly and dropped it without taking a point.
In the decider, Chan led 5-1 before Oleksandra battled to level at 5-all.
The 16-year-old then lost the tie-breaker 3-7.
In Friday`s semifinals, top seed Chan meets the fourth seed Zi Yang while Prerna Bhambri meets Nan Nan Zhang of China.
Prerna Bhambri bt Emily Webley Smith 7-5, 2-1 retired; Nan Nan Zhang bt Rushmi Chakravarthi 7-6(2), 6-0; Zi Yang bt Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-1, 6-0; Wang Yau Venise Chan bt Oleksandra Korashivilli 2-6, 7-6(0), 7-6(3).
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal