Jakupovic fights past Sheethal

Treta packs off Rushmi in second round; Nimisha tumbles out

 
 Treta Bhattacharyya fires a backhand return against Rushmi Chakravarthi in the ITF Women’s tennis tournament in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH photoSheethal, who is continuing her comeback to the game after four years, earned a main draw berth after coming through three rounds of qualifying matches and went on to win the first round against wild card Prathana Prathap on Tuesday. The 28-year-old gave the Slovenian, ranked 695, a run for her money, winning the first set comfortably.

A frustrated Jakupovic huffed and uttered, “I don’t wan’t to play tennis any more.”  During the one-hour 40-minute match, the teenager often threw her tennis racquet onto the ground in frustration. After losing the first set, however, Jakupovic took a toilet break and returned after ten minutes. “The break helped me to regain my composure. I changed my tactics after the first set and relied more on keeping the ball in play than going for winners,” Jakupovic revealed.

The strategy produced instant results as the 18-year-old broke Sheethal in the first game of the second set. The Slovenian, however, squandered the advantage by twice committing unforced errors to help Sheethal get back on level terms at 2-all.

Sheethal failed to drive home the advantage as she lost her serve in the very next game. Jakupovic, after quick exchanges at the net, came up with a half-volley winner to force the break. Jakupovic went on to win the set, breaking Sheethal in ninth game through a stunning backhand down the line.

A tired looking Sheethal couldn’t match the athleticism of Jakupovic in the third set. Though Sheethal changed her tactics by using lobs that effectively slowed down the game, Jakupovic, a semifinalist in Delhi last month, counter-attacked by shortening the rallies and coming up with powerful forehand winners. Jakupovic broke her opponent in the fourth and sixth games to wrap up the match.

Earlier, sixth seed Rushmi Chakravarthi was shown the door by compatriot Treta Bhattacharyya 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 to set up a clash with top seed Poojashree Venkatesha, who booked her last eight berth when Aishwarya Agrawal retired, trailing 1-6, 0-3. Aishwarya developed an allergy to a medicine she took in the morning and was then sent to the hospital for check up.

Local lass Nimisha Mohan was beaten 3-6, 4-6 by fifth seed Sanaa Bhambri in the last 16.

Results (Indians unless mentioned, prefix number denotes seeding): Singles (pre-quarterfinals): 4-Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Rishika Sunkara 7-5, 6-4; Treta Bhattacharyya bt 6-Rushmi Chakravarthi 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; 5-Sanaa Bhambri bt Nimisha Mohan 6-3, 6-4; 3-Isha Lakhani bt Prerna Bhambri 6-3, 6-0; 1-Poojashree Venkatesha bt Aishwarya Agrawal 6-1, 3-0 (Aishwarya retired); 7-Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt Sheethal Goutham 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; Elodie Rogge-Dietrich (Fra) bt Moe Kawatoko (Jpn) 7-5, 6-0; He Chun Yan (Chn) bt Shivika Burman 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Doubles (quarterfinals): Sanaa Bhambri/ Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Gopika Kapoor/ Ashvarya Shrivastava 6-2, 6-2; Moe Kawatoko/ Kumari Shweta Solanki bt Jade Hopper (Aus)/ Keren Shlomo 9Isr) 6-3, 6-3; Isha Lakhani/ Poojashree Venkatesha bt Anastasia Malhotra/ Stephanie Theiler (Sui) 6-4, 6-3; Chun Yan He (Chn)/ Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt Prerna Bhambri/ Tegan Edwards 5-7, 6-3, 10-3.

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