Prarthana, Rishika in semifinals

Prarthana, Rishika in semifinals

Prarthana, Rishika in semifinals

Top seed Prarthana Thombare and fourth seed Rushika Sunkara won their respective quarterfinal matches to keep India’s hopes alive in the Zuari Garden City Open $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association here on Thursday.

The 21-year old Rushika, who had seen off veteran Rushmi Chakravarthi in a three-setter in the second round, did not sweat much against the unseeded Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy as she cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory to storm into the semifinals.

Top seed Prarthana continued her terrific run with a comfortable 7-5, 6-2 win against Sai Samhitha Chamarthi.
Rushika started off in an aggressive fashion in the first set and did not allow her opponent to settle. Undone by too many unforced errors, Vaishnavi, who had upset eighth seed Wang-Xi Yao in the pre-quarters, couldn’t mount a serious challenge.

The Delhi girl will play Oman’s Fatma Al Nabhani in the semifinals. The second-seeded Fatma prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 against seventh seed Nidhi Chilumula in her quarterfinals.

Prarthana was down 0-3 in the first set but got her act together to level 3-3.

The unseeded Sai, from Chennai, looked good in patches with some elegant backhand slices winning her most of the points but she couldn’t pose a consistent threat to Prarthana.

Prarthana will play Ching-Wen Hsu in the semifinals after the Chinese Taipei player knocked out India’s Sharrmadaa Baluu 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Bangalore girl Sharrmadaa however kept her hopes alive in the doubles. The 20-year-old, partnering Prarthana, defeated Rutuja and Nidhi 6-1, 6-2 to enter the final.

They will be up against Ching-Wen and Natasha Palha who earlier upset the second-seeded pair of Fatma and Rushika 6-3, 6-3.

Results: Singles quarterfinals (prefix denotes seedings; Indians unless mentioned otherwise): 1- Prarthana Thombare bt Samhitha Chamarthi 7-5, 6-2; 2-Fatma Al Nabhani bt 7-Nidhi Chilumula 3-6, 6-4, 6-0; 4- Rushika Sunkara bt Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-1, 6-3; 5- Ching-Wen Hsu bt Sharrmadaa Baluu 6-4, 6-4;  

Doubles semifinals: Ching-Wen Hsu/ Natasha Palha bt Fatma Al Nabhani/ Rushika Sunkara 6-3, 6-3; Sharrmasaa Baluu/ Prarthana G Thombare bt Rutuja Bhosale/ Nidhi Chilumula 6-1, 6-2.