Minokoshi wards off gritty Sanae

The top seeds advanced without much of hiccups on the opening day of the $10,000 ITF women's tournament at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) complex here on Monday.

In four singles matches schedules for the day, top-seeded Mai Minokoshi overcame a first set fight from compatriot Sanae Ohta before winning 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. Ohta’s elimination has reduced the foreign presence in the singles draw to two -- Minokoshi and seventh-seeded Hungarian Naomi Totka.

Minokoshi now meets Indian Shreya Pasricha who made short work of compatriot and wild card Victoria Chehal 6-3, 6-1.

Fourth-seeded Prerna Bhambri too was stretched in the first set before eking out a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Amrita Mukherjee. She awaits the winner of the match between qualifier Ambika Pande and wildcard Jeni Patel.

“I was playing after a very long time, so I was not getting the feel in the beginning. Amrita also played well to stretch me in the first set. The first match in a tournament is always very important,” said Prerna, who graduated this year from Delhi’s Jesus and Mary College and trains under Aditya Sachdeva.

In contrast sixth-seeded Shweta Rana had a smooth sailing against Sanya Madan, sweeping her aside 6-0, 6-1. She plays the winner of the opening round match between Manya Nagpal and Sneha Padamata.  

Earlier in the day, seasoned Rushmi Chakravarthi made the it to the main draw after blanking Jaya Bhandari 6-0, 6-0. She will be playing compatriot Sharon Sanchana Paul on Tuesday and is paired with Ankita Raina for the doubles.

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