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Bhosale advances into Round 2 of $25,000 Women’s ITF, lone Indian among 8 who qualified

Fourth-seeded Bhosale (WTA rank 435) outplayed Arthi Muniyan 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round.

Written by Ruchika Goswamy | Pune |
March 11, 2021 1:35:16 am
Tennis newsThe $15,000 Men’s ITF Championships finals in Pune will have 19-year-old American Zane Khan take on compatriot Oliver Crawford on the Deccan Gymkhana hard courts (file)

On the second day of the main draw of the $25,000 Women’s ITF Championships on Wednesday, local frontrunner Rutuja Bhosale was the lone player from India to secure her place in the round of 16 of the championships. The KPIT- MSLTA ITF WTT Cup tennis championship, organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, was held at the Deccan Gymkhana tennis courts.

Fourth-seeded Bhosale (WTA rank 435) outplayed Arthi Muniyan 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round. Although Muniyan opened confidently with an ace minutes into the first set, Bhosale soon raced past after pocketing a breakpoint.

“It is my first home game after the pandemic and nerves before the match was natural. I have not played against Arthi Muniyan earlier but she is a good opponent to play against. Playing on a hard court was an advantage I had over her as she tried to compensate by playing aggressively. The game was quick and as the match went on, I was able to take some easy break points. There are some excellent players here and I am grateful that MSLTA and AITA put together the event for Indian players even in such circumstances. I am hopeful that we will make most of it. But I am also confident to win the title, and I am taking one match at a time,” said Bhosale.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Jasmin Jebawy (WTA ranking 807) was given a tough fight by right handed Jennifer Luikham, before winning 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. One of the nail-biting matches of the day, which lasted three hours and seven minutes, saw Jebawy own the trajectory of the match during the first set. Luikham showed good promise taking full control over the second set but could not keep up during the last set.

Eighth-seed Irina Khromacheva of Russia (WTA rank 632), second-seed Miriam Bianca Bulguru of Romania (WTA rank 365), fifth-seed Marianna Zakarlyuk of Ukraine (WTA rank 489), Slovakian Pia Lovric (WTA rank 769), sixth-seed Emily Webley Smith of Great Britain (WTA rank 520) and third-seed Laura Pigossi of Brazil (WTA rank 377) were the other players to make it to the round of 16, which will begin on Thursday.

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