Shreya packs off top seed Minokoshi

Seventeen-year-old Shreya Pasricha caused a flutter on Tuesday with her 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) victory over top-seeded Mai Minokoshi of Japan in the pre-quartefinals of the $10,000 ITF women’s tournament at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) complex.

In a topsy-turvy match, Shreya launched a remarkable comeback when trailing 2-5 in the opening set, reeling off five games in a row to take the lead. She carried the momentum into the second set, opening up a 2-0 lead, but squandered the advantage twice before closing it out in the tie-breaker. She broke away from 5-5 in the tie-breaker to win the set and the match.

Shreya admitted the victory gives her the confidence to take on the higher seeded players in tournament. “When I was down 2-5, I had nothing to lose. I started to give her a fight and forced her into committing errors. Though in the second set I was twice up a break, I am happy to have won. This is my biggest win ever,” said Shreya, who trains at Team Tennis with Aditya Sachdeva and Mahendra Singh.

“Like most Japanese players she was a good mover. But it was really hot and humid out there and I think it worked in my favour,” added Shreya.

It turned out be an exceptional day for Shreya as she and Amrita Mukherjee toppled top seeds in doubles too, beating Naomi Totka and Rishika Sunkara 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) for a place in the semifinals.

In the singles quarterfinals on Wednesday, Shreya plays Eetee Mehta, who shocked the remaining foreigner in draw, seventh-seeded Naomi Totka, who committed five double faults during her 1-6, 2-6 loss.

Second-seeded Ankita Raina, too, had to dig deep for her 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 victory against her doubles partner Rushmi Chakra-varthi. Rushmi controlled the proceedings for the larger part of the match by effectively cutting down Ankita’s pace and mixing her game, only to fall apart in the decider.

Pre-quarterfinal results (prefix denotes seedings, Indians unless mentioned): 2-Ankita Raina bt Rushmi Chakravarthi 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3; Rishika Sunkara bt Adnya Naik 6-0, 6-4; Natasha Palha bt Vaniya Dangwal 6-0, 6-2; Prarthana Thombare bt Sai Samhitha Chamarthi 6-2, 6-3; Eetee Mehta bt 7-Naomi Totka (Hun) 6-1, 6-2; Shreya Pasricha bt 1-Mai Minokoshi (Jpn) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5); Ambika Pande bt 4-Prerna Bhambri 3-0 (retd); 6-Shweta Rana bt Sneha Padamata 6-4, 6-2.

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