Sharrmadaa sails into quarterfinals

Second seed Fatma Al Nabhani saved two match points to prevail in a hard-fought battle against unseeded Indian Rutuja Bhosale while local interest Sharrmadaa Baluu had an easy win against a listless Chun-Yan He in the second round of the Zuari Garden City $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association stadium here on Wednesday.

The second seed Omani player showed great temperament under immense pressure to pull off a come-from-behind 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory against Rutuja to enter the quarterfinals.

Troubled by her serve, Fatma didn’t have the greatest of starts as she was broken in the sixth game to concede a 4-2 lead to her Indian opponent. Rutuja then went on to hold serve in the next game and looked good to seal the first set in her favour. The second seed then played some aggressive tennis to break back Rutuja twice to come back into the match and make the scoreline 5-5. Both the players avoided any further hiccups in their service games as the set went into a tie-break.

Rutuja was on top of her game in the tie-break as she played some brilliant volleys to take the set 7-6 (3).
Upset with some wrong calls and unable to focus fully, an animated Fatma trailed 2-5 in the second set as Rutuja looked good to win the match.

Facing two match points in the eighth game, Fatma fought back with two strong backhand winners to stay alive in the match. From there on, the Omani player shifted gears with some big serves and strong forehand play to bag the second set 7-6 (5) in the tie-break.  Carrying on the momentum, Fatma sealed the match in her favour, winning the third set 7-5.

Sharrmadaa, meanwhile, cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Chun-Yan to reach the last eight stage.
The Chinese campaign in the singles category came to an end on Wednesday with the eighth seed Xi Yao Wang conceding her match to Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy because of a leg injury after being down 6-7 (5), 2-5.  Sixth seed Shweta Rana bowed out due to leg injury against unseeded Sai Samitha Chamarthi when she was trailing 2-6, 1-5.

Fourth seed Rishika Sunkara and seventh seed Nidhi Chilumula were the other Indians reaching the quarterfinals.

Results: Second round (prefix denotes seedings; Indians unless mentioned otherwise): 2-Fatma Al Nabhani bt Rutuja Bhosale 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 7-5; 7-Nidhi Chilumula bt Karman Kaur Thandi 6-2, 7-5; 4- Rishika Sunkara bt Rushmi Chakravarthi 6-3, 1-6, 6-2; 1- Prarthana Thombare bt Vaniya Dangwal 6-4, 6-1; Sharrmadaa Baluu bt Chun-Yan HE (Chn) 6-2, 6-3; 5- Ching-Wen HSU (Tpe) bt Eetee Maheta 6-1, 6-2; Sai Samhitha Chamarthi bt Shwetha Rana 6-2, 5-1 (retired); Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy bt 8- Xi-Yao Wang (Chn) 7-6 (5), 5-2 (retired). 

Doubles: 1- Fatma Al Nabhani (Oma)/Rishika Sunkara bt Pragati Nataraj/ Nupur Umashankar 6-1, 6-1; 4- Rutuja Bhosale/ Nidhi Chilumula bt Rushmi Chakravarthi/ Bhuvana Kalva 6-0, 6-4; 2- Sharrmadaa Baluu/ Prarthana Thombare bt Vaniya Dangwal/ Amrita Mukherjee 7-6 (2), 6-0; 3- Ching-Wen HSU (Tpe)/ Natasha Palha bt Snehadevi S Reddy/ Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal 6-3, 6-0.

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