Prarthana falls to China's Liu

India’s Prar­thana Thombare, playing her debut WTA match, fought valiantly before going down 6-3, 2-6, 4-6 to Chang Liu of China in the first round of the $125,000 Sanjay Kakade Group Royal Indian Open WTA Challenger tournament here on Monday.

The 956-ranked Prarthana gave a good account of herself in the first set against an opponent ranked 574 places above her. Both players held serve in the first six games but Prarthana grabbed the initiative, breaking Liu’s service in the seventh and then again in the ninth game.  

The 18-year-old Indian took the opening set 6-3. But the National junior champion had a tough battle against the Chinese in the second set.

Prarthana’s aggressive approach backfired as she lost the second set in quick time at 2-6.
In the deciding third set, both players broke each other’s serve alternately to be level at 3-3. But Liu then used her experience to good effect as she pushed Prarthana into making errors to claim the set and match at 6-4.

Results (first round, Indians unless mentioned): Chang Liu (Chn) bt Prarthana Thombare 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (Tha) bt Julia Glushko (Isr) 6-3, 7-5; Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) bt Wing-Yau Chan (Tpe) 6-4, 6-4; Donna Vekic (Cro) bt Varatchaya W (Tha) 6-1, 6-1.

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