Super Kyra keeps Indian hopes alive

Super Kyra keeps Indian hopes alive

Sharmada, Spurti fall in first round

Kyra Shroff kept the home interest going after the unseeded Indian pulled off an upset victory to move into the pre-quarterfinals of the QNet $25000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the KSLTA courts here on Tuesday.

in command: Kyra Shroff returns during her upset win over Zuzana Luknarova. DH Photo

Kyra, who received a wild card for the meet, is the lone Indian left in the singles competition with her compatriots Sharmada Balu and Spurti Shivalingaiah crashing out on the second day. Kyra, who is ranked 888 in the world, took out third seed Zuzana Luknarova of Slovakia with a 6-3, 6-3 verdict in the first round.

Kyra will take on unseeded Nicole Clerico of Italy in the round-of-16 stage on Wednesday.
Hours later, Sharmada, who struggled with her serve, went down fighting to seventh seed Sung-Hee Han of South Korea 3-6, 7-6 (3), 5-7 in a topsy-turvy battle that had seven service breaks in the decider. Another local hope Spurti lost 2-6, 4-6 to fourth seed Andrea Koch-Benvenuto of Chile.

Luknarova started with a bang breaking Kyra in the second game after holding her serve in the first to go 2-0 ahead. Kyra took control of the proceedings with some neat deep serves and top-spin backhands. The 19-year-old Indian forced her rival into errors to break the third and fifth games while holding the fourth and sixth service games.
Luknarova, however, managed to hold her serve in the seventh before Kyra closed in on the set with a forehand winner. Kyra took the first set when she broke Luknarova with a down the line winner.

Both players struggled to hold their serves in the second set. Broken in the third and fifth, Kyra fought back with breaks in the fourth and sixth. Kyra reached 5-3 with another break in the eighth when her opponent dumped a return into the net.
The teenager sealed the next game and match with a backhand drop.

Results (first round, prefix denotes seedings): Nungnadda Wannasuk (Tha) bt Varunya Wongteanchai (Tha) 7-6 (4), 6-1; Kyra Shroff (Ind) bt 3-Zuzana Luknarova (Svk) 6-3, 6-3; Jovana Jaksic (Srb) bt Michaela Frlicka (Ger) 6-3, 6-2; Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Fatma Al Nabhani (Oma) 6-4, 7-6 (5); 7-Sung-Hee Han (Kor) bt Sharmada Balu (Ind) 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5; 6-Aleksandrina Naydenova (Bul) bt Barbara Luz (Por) 6-4, 6-2; 4-Andrea Koch-Benvenuto (Chi) bt Spurti Shivalingaiah  (Ind) 6-2, 6-4.
Doubles: 1-Tamaryn Handler/ Melanie Klaffner (Bel/Aut) bt Trang Huynh Phuong Dai/ Ai Wen Zhu (Vtm/ Chn) 6-2, 6-0; Tamara Curovic/ Rishika Sunkara (Srb/Ind) bt Prerna Bhambri/ Ashvarya Shrivastava (Ind) 6-1, 6-0; Tadeja Majeric/ Anja Prislan (Slo) bt Emi Mutaguchi/ Akiko Omae (Jpn) 6-3, 6-2; Rushmi Chakravarthi/ Ankita Raina (Ind) bt Melis Sezer/ Kyra Shroff (Tur/ Ind) 1-6, 6-2, 10-7; 2-Nicole Clerico/ Zuzana Luknarova (Ita/ Svk) bt Nidhi Chilumula/ Stephanie Scimone (Ind/ Ita) 6-1, 6-1.