Bhambri takes on Doi, local girl Bhosale to face Lee of Korea

Pune: National Champion Prerna Bhambri was today handed a tough draw as she has been pitted against second seed Japanese Misaki Doi in her opening round match of the WTA Indian Open, beginning here on Sunday.

Former national champion and local hope Rutuja Bhosale has been drawn against So-Ra Lee of Korea.

Meanwhile, two more Indians have entered the main draw of the USD 125,000 challenger tournament with Rishika Sunkara and Nidhi Chilumala qualifying.

Sunkara got the better of compatriot Ankita Raina 6-2 7-6 (9) in the final qualifying round while Chilumala got a walkover from Briotn Emily Webley-Smith, who had to return to her country from the Mumbai airport due to a wrong visa.

Former world number nine Andrea Pektovik`s comeback bid to professional tennis would kick start with a first round encounter against Sofia Shapatava of Georgia.

The German was out of action for months due to an injury and has been granted a wild card for the event, which has brought WTA tennis back to India for the first time since 2008.

"I will invest all I have to see myself till the end. I am having a great time here, loving the people, the food. And I think I have taken the right decision by choosing Royal Indian Open for my come back," said Pektovik who could face top seed Nina Bratchikova of Russia in the quarterfinals.

While Pektovik, Bratchikova and veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm carry the favourite tag in the tournament, the challenge of the youth brigade will be shouldered by 16-year-old Donna Vekic of Croatia, Misaki and Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey.