New Delhi: Indian tennis player Natasha Palha suffered a straight-set defeat against Chinese Taipei`s Lee Pei-Chi to settle for a runner-up finish at the ITF Women`s Tennis Tournament here on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Natasha lost 4-6, 2-6 to Lee in a match that had to be stopped midway on Saturday because of rain and was completed this morning at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium.
Playing their first ITF final, both Lee and Natasha started out nervously. Lee with her flat ground strokes was sticking to her game plan of first strike tennis and was taking more chances than Natasha.
Natasha, on the other hand, did extremely well to run down a lot of balls and tried to force Lee to go for more. The girls traded breaks of serves and the match was evenly poised at 4-4 in the first set.
This is when Natasha became a bit more nervous and made some unforced errors to hand Lee the first set 6-4.
At 1-1, 40-30 with Lee serving, the match was disrupted due to a massive dust storm followed by rain. The match had to be postponed.
After the game resumed on Sunday, Lee came out firing and stuck to her game plan, whereas Natasha didn`t make any tactical changes to upset Lee`s rhythm.
As Lee kept moving towards victory, Natasha seemed to get more nervous and started making a lot more unforced errors. Lee soon won the second set 6-2 to register her first win in professional tournament.