Rishika shocks French rival Celine to enter last eight

Updated: Dec 14, 2011, 20:49 PM IST

Pune: India`s Rishika Sunkara shocked fourth seeded French woman Celine Cattaneo to enter the singles quarterfinals of the LIC-ITF Women`s Tennis Championships at the MSLTA School of Tennis on Wednesday.

The tall Delhi girl upset her more fancied French opponent 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 56 minutes in the second round and reached the last eight.

In the other upset of the day in singles, Russian teenager Ksenia Kirillova shut out eighth seed Melis Sezer of Turkey 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals at the Mhalunge Balewadi Sports Complex.

Top seed Sachie Ishizu of Japan, second seed Nicha Lertipitaksinchai, third seed Peangtarn Plipuech, both of Thailand, sixth seed Anja Prislan of Slovakia and unseeded Tamara Curovico of Serbia and China`s Jia-Jing Lu were the other players to make it to the last eight in the singles.

In the first set against Cattaneo, Rishika broke her rival`s serve in the seventh game after hitting two forehand winners.

Serving for the set, she kept her nerves to hold her serve after being 0-40 down in the 12th game. She served intelligently to come out of the hole and win the set 7-5.

In the second, the Indian teenager broke the experienced French woman in the opening game.

She was broken in the sixth game by the French woman who leveled the score at 3-3. Not to be downcast, Rishika broke back in the 9th to go 5-4 up and then held on to her serve after some anxious moments to clinch the set and seal a place in the last eight.

Later, junior player Sharmada Balu partnered Cattaneo and the duo ousted top seeds Nicole Clerico of Italy and Melis Sezer of Turkey 4-6, 6-1, 10-7 in one hour and six minutes to enter the doubles semifinals.

Seasoned Indian pair of Rushmi Chakravarthi and Sheethal Goutham, however, went down tamely to the Chinese Taipei pair of Shu-Ying Hsieh and Hua-Chen Lee who won 6-3, 6-1 in the other semi final.