Prerna Bhambri clinches maiden ITF women's title

The 18-year-old, who in the past had made four ITF semifinal appearances, outclassed Shlomo, a champion here a few weeks ago, with her blistering grounstrokes and solid serves in mere 56 minutes.

The Delhi girl had looked a bit subdued in her semifinal match against Desiree Bastianon but successfully went for the lines against Shlomo, often leaving her flat-footed. The Israeli struggled with her serve, committing quite a few double faults, to add to her mounting errors.

The Indian took a 4-1 lead in both the sets and before long was serving out for the match. She had to fight Shlomo's aggression and her own nerves but closed it out on her third match point when the Israeli hit a forehand long.

Watched by parents, grandparents and brother Prateek, a beaming Prerna said she played her best match in the tournament.

"It was my first final after four semifinals, so I was very happy to be here. I think I played my best match in the tournament. It was very special winning the title in front of my family," Prerna, a student of BA programm in the Jesus and Mary College, said.

"I made a lot of unforced errors in the semifinals but today I was able to keep them under check and went for the lines. My coach (Aditya Sachdeva) told me to play my game and I did just that."

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