Poojashree puts out Sundaram on opening day

Gopika-Ashvarya reach doubles second round with win over Mooney-Harshni


Top seed Poojashree Venkatesha essays a backhand in her win over Subbadharmi  Sundaram at the KSLTA courts on Monday. DH photo

Poojashree wrapped up the match in 56 minutes at the KSLTA courts against an erratic Subbadharmi, who doesn’t have a WTA ranking yet. The Bangalorean was also aided by her American opponent’s unforced errors.

A nervous Subbadharmi double-faulted at 30-all and then followed it up with a backhand that went wide to hand Poojashree a break in the very first game.

Though the top seed struggled to find her free-flowing game, it hardly made any difference on the day as Subbadharmi gifted six double-faults and made numerous other unforced errors.

Poojashree broke Subbadharmi in the first, third and fifth games of the first set. Leading 5-0 and serving for the set at 15-all, Poojashree was briefly halted when a slight drizzle interrupted play.

When play resumed five minutes later, Poojashree welcomed her rival back with a forehand cross-court that left Subbadharmi stranded.

Subbadharmi responded through a forehand down the line passing shot. That period of play also saw the American putting up her best effort in the match.

She even held a break point in the sixth game when Poojashree sent a forehand volley wide.

Poojashree, who is seeking her third ITF title here, hauled herself out of trouble with a deep serve followed by a backhand volley. The 19-year-old then came up with a backhand pass to a drop shot from Subbadharmi and took the first set in 28 minutes when Subbadharmi drove her forehand over the baseline.

The second set also went along the same lines with Poojashree breaking her opponent three times.

The American, who battled hard to keep the ball in play, surrendered the set in 21 minutes.

In the fifth game of second set, Subbadharmi tried to unsettle Poojashree by coming to the net.

Poojashree produced a superb forehand lob which gave her opponent no chance whatsoever.

The world ranked 416 cleared the first hurdle when Subbadharmi dumped a backhand into the net in the only singles match of the day.

Results (Indians unless mentioned, prefix denotes seeding):
Singles: 1-Poojashree Venkatesha bt Subbadharmi Sundaram (USA) 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: Anastasia Malhotra (Jpn)/ Stephanie Theiler (Sui) bt Prathana Prathap/ Prerana Prathap 6-2, 6-1; Prerna Bhambri/ Tegan Edwards (RSA) bt Shweta Kakhandki Gadigeppa/ Sonal Phadke 6-1, 6-4; Chun-Yan He (Chn)/ Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt Treta Bhattacharyya/ Shivika Burman 6-3, 6-3; Gopika Kapoor/ Ashvarya Shrivastava bt Nicola Mooney (GBR)/ Harshni Reddy 6-3, 6-2; Jade Hopper (Aus)/ Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Sharmada Balu/ Nimisha Mohan 6-3, 6-4; Moe Kawatoko (Jpn)/ Kumari-Sweta Solanki bt Aishwarya Agarwal/ Adnya Naik 6-1, 6-2.

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