Royal Indian Open WTA Challenger: Indian players fail to rise to the occasion
Pune: After the high Rutuja Bhosale winning her first round encounter and Prarthana Thombare pushing her higher ranked opponent, Indian players failed to create any magic on the second day of the $125,000 Sanjay Kakade Group Royal Indian Open WTA Challenger event, organized by Netsurf Entertainment, on Tuesday.
National champion Prerna Bhambri seemed overwhelmed by the occasion and succumbed 6-0, 6-2 against second seed Misaki Doi of China while qualifier Nidhi Chilumula was hammered 6-2, 6-1 by Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay at the Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi.
Though not many expected the Indian players to create upsets, it was the manner of the defeat that must have hurt even the players.
Bhambri, who was given a wild card in the tournament, could not settle down throughout the first set and Doi simply breezed through the set. The New Delhi girl did improve her performance in the second set as she held serve in the first and third game before regular service was restored and the Chinese second seed took little time in closing out the match.
In the day’s other match, Nidhi Chilumula fared a bit better and had a couple of chances to break her opponent’s serve, which she could not grab.
However, it was her own serve that deserted the Indian on crucial junctures and the five double faults in seven service games did not help matters.
Even Rishika Sunkara could not raise the bar against veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan and went down 6-0, 6-3.