Rushmi fights her way into main draw of ITF meet

Pune: Despite ill health, experienced campaigner Rushmi Chakravathi managed to beat her Vietnami opponent to enter into the main draw of the USD 25,000 NECC-ITF Women`s tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana courts on Monday.

In the final qualifying round, Rushmi made light of an upset stomach and fever to rally from a first-set loss to oust Trang Huynh Phuong Dai 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-1.

She was the only Indian to make it past the qualifying stage, while five others fell by the wayside in the final qualifying round.

Two other Indians, unseeded Natasha Palha and No. 7 Kyra Shroff, were ousted in three sets.

Goa-based Natasha wasted a 4-2 lead in the final set before going down to No 6 Korean Hae-Sung Kim in a match lasting 2 hours 58 minutes. The Korean won 7-6 (6), 0-6, 6-4.

Later, Georgia`s Natia Gegia, who ranks 216 places lower, conquered seeded Kyra.

The Indian did well to win the first set before going down 4-6 6-4 6-4.

Meanwhile, giant killer Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy of India lost to Taipei`s Shu-Ying Hsieh 3-6 0-6.

Also making their exit were Prerna Bhambri and Rishika Sunkara, the two Indians figuring in the opening day six-match main draw schedule, losing to seeded players. Prerna lost to No 6 France`s Celine Cattaneo 5-7 2-6 while Rishika went down to fifth seeded Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand 3-6 2-6.

The match of the day was that of Rushmi`s who was playing her opponent for the first time.

After losing the first set, Rushmi began the second setbreaking her opponent`s serve in the opening game.

However, she could not hold on to the advantage forcing the set into the tie-break.

Tied 1-1, Rushmi won five points in a row which included an ace to lead 6-1, before the Vietnamese fought back winning four points and narrow the lead.

However, Rushmi regained composure to win the next point and pushed the match into the deciding third. The second set lasted an hour and four minutes. In the decider, Rushmi was on song opening up a 5-0 advantage, the Vietnamese won the 6th before the Indian finished signed off winning the 7th at love. Rushmi runs into qualifier Jia Xiang Lu of China in her main draw opener.

In the singles main draw all seeds had easy straight set outings. No 2 Sachie Ishizu of Japan lost one game in her match against Wing-Yau Venise Chan ( Hong Kong ) 6-1, 6-0.


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