Prerna to meet Shlomo in ITF women's final

Prerna to meet Shlomo in ITF women's final

This came after another Indian Ratnika Batra lost her way despite a rousing start, going down 6-1, 1-6, 3-6 to top seed Keren Shlomo of Israel. 

In the doubles, the top seeded pair of Rushmi Chakravarthi and Shlomo went down to second seeds Hae-Sung Kim and Ju-Eun Kim of South Korea for the second successive week in the final, losing 5-7, 0-6.

Ratnika, showing good court-craft and hitting fluently, did not allow Shlomo to settle down and repeatedly attacked the Israeli's backhand to eke out errors. Breaking the Israeli in the second and the sixth game, she swiftly finished the first set.

The 16-year-old national champion's game, however, dipped in the second set and she failed to hold her serve even once. The only point she got was by breaking Shlomo in the sixth game. Barring that glitch, the Israeli dominated the proceedings and it was soon a set apiece.

In the decider, the two players traded early breaks but Shlomo, now serving with purpose, was too strong for Ratnika from the baseline. She dictated the rallies with her power-packed groundstrokes and broke Ratnika in the sixth and eighth game to serve out the set and the match.

In the second semifinal, Prerna was off to a subdued start and was often tested by the lanky Belgian qualifier's teasing drops and booming serves. Bastianon also kept the points short with her big groundstrokes and benefited from the Indian's mounting unforced errors.

She broke Prerna straightaway for a 2-0 lead only to drop her serve in the fourth game for 2-2. The Indian then held her service at love to nose ahead 3-2. It was here the Belgian took a medical break for a strain on the right thigh.

On her return, the Belgian's movements were visibly affected but she continued to dominate with her powerful strokes and serve, breaking Prerna in the ninth game and serving out to go up a set.

In the second set, after trading breaks in the sixth and the seventh game, Prerna pulled off a decisive break in the eighth before closing the set on her third set point.

She then broke Bastianon in the first game of the decider after which the Belgian decided to withdraw.

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