Poojashree crowned champion

Bangalorean completes grand double at home

Poojashree crowned champion


Poojashree Venkatesha of India, left, and Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia display their trophies after the final match of the International Tennis Federation Women's Open tournament in Bangalore.

It was Poojashree’s third ITF title, her previous crowns coming in New Delhi and Islamabad. The Bangalorean had on Friday won the doubles title too, partnering Mumbaikar Isha Lakhani, to complete a grand double here.

“I played the crucial points better than Dalila today. It’s good to win in front of my home crowd,” Poojashree said after the completion of the one-hour, 15-minute match.
Poojashree started off well, holding her very first serve with a backhand winner.

The top seed, however, soon trailed Jakupovic when a double-fault and an unforced error helped the Slovenian go ahead 2-1.
Jakupovic came up with a string of stunning forehand winners, but the 18-year-old squandered the advantage by dumping wide even easy volleys. Poojashree broke her opponent twice — in the fourth and sixth games — and but then dropped her own serve to hold a 4-3 lead as Jakupovic showed glimpses of her talent, unleashing two consecutive forehand down the line winners followed by a cross-court return.

Poojashree raised the level of her game when it mattered most. She broke Jakupovic’s serve in the eighth and then served out the set. Poojashree hurried the seventh seed with a deep return and took the set with a double-handed backhand passing shot.
Both players failed to hold their serve at the start of the second set too. The match then saw Poojashree producing a peach of a point to draw level at 2-all. Jakupovic hit a powerful cross-court forehand and Poojashree, who took a couple of steps forward anticipating a drop shot from the Slovenian, managed to slice the ball past the rushing Jakupovic.

Poojashree took a stranglehold on the match from then on, breaking Jakupoivc in the seventh and ninth games. The top seed pumped her fist in celebration when Jakupovic netted a backhand return. “She played really well and I made a lot of mistakes too. Full credit to Poojashree,” said Jakupovic.

Poojashree took home $1568 and received 12 WTA points for her triumph.

DH News Service

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