Prerna marches into semifinals

Prerna Bhambri made it to the semifinals of the ITF Gulbarga Open women’s futures tennis championship after her quarterfinal opponent retired here at the Dr Chandrashekar Patil stadium on Thursday.

Prerna, who managed to claim a hard-fought first set 7-5, was up 2-1 in the second set when second-seeded Emily Webley Smith of Great Britain twisted her ankle while attempting a tough return from the baseline.

Emily sought a medical time-out and returned to the court in a while, but it was soon obvious that she had lost almost all of her mobility, and hence conceded the tie.
Earlier, Emily, who banks extensively on her first serve, struggled with the same but still managed to push Prerna against the wall.

The Indian found her rhythm and stuck it through to take a 6-5 lead before breaking her higher-ranked opponent in the twelfth game to bag the set.
Prerna got off to an ideal start in the second set but before the Indian could have her way against Emily, the latter conceded.

Meanwhile, veteran Rushmi Chakravarthi was shown the door by China’s Nan Nan Zhang 6-7 (2-7), 0-6. Wildcard Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy’s campaign too came to an end after the Indian went down 1-6, 0-6 to fourth-seed Zi Yang in her quarterfinal encounter.  
Prerna will lock horns with Nan in the semis.

Results (quarterfinals, Indians unless stated otherwise): Prerna Bhambri bt 2-Emily Webely Smith (Gbr) 7-5, 2-1 (retd); Nan Nan Zhang (Chn) bt Rushmi Chakravarthi 7-6 (7-2), 6-0; 4-Zi Yang (Chn) bt Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-1, 6-0; 1-Wang Yau Venise Chan (Hkg) bt  Oleksandra Korashivilli (Ukr) 2-6, 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (7-3).

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