Fatma, Ching-Wen in final

Fatma, Ching-Wen in final

Prarthana, Rishika exit, ending Indian challenge

Fatma, Ching-Wen in final

Second seed Fatma Al Nabhani set up title clash with fifth seed Ching-Wen Hsu as the Indian campaign in the singles category came to an end in the Zuari Garden City Open $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association here on Friday.

While the Taipei player Ching-Wen upset top-seeded Maharashtra girl Prarthana Thombare 6-4, 6-2, Fatma faced some resistance from fourth seed from Delhi Rishika Sunkara before prevailing 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

In the first semifinal, Prarthana, who had a easy run in the tournament thus far, was tested for the first time by a resilient Ching.

Though the 18-year-old Ching-Wen took an early 2-0 lead, there was no one clear dominant player among the two, as Prarthana broke back and held her serve to make it 2-2.  At a crucial stage of 4-4, Ching played aggressive tennis and broke Prarthana and then held here serve to bag the first set 6-4.

In the second set, Ching looked in no mood to relax, breaking her Indian opponent in the third and fifth games to go 4-1 up. Helped by her powerful forehand down the line, Ching-Wen wrapped up the set and match 6-2.

In the second semifinal, Fatma began in a terrific manner, climbing to a 4-0 lead in the first set against Rishika. Troubled by her serve, the Indian tried hard to come back but eventually gave away the first set 3-6 to her Omani opponent.

The second set began in a similar fashion for Fatma, who took a 2-0 lead and pushed Rishika to the back seat. Seemingly out of contention against a determined Fatma, the Delhi girl upped her game without as much of a sign to level the score at 4-4 after being down 1-3.

An array of double faults didn’t do any good for Fatma as Rishika clinched the second set 7-5.
The third set, however, proved to be one-sided affair with Fatma running a 3-1 lead. Not finding ways to break her opponent, Rishika bowed out, losing the third set 2-6.

The doubles final between second-seeded pair of Prarthana and Sharrmadaa and Natasha and Ching was postponed to Saturday due to rain.

Results: Singles semifinals (prefix denotes seeding; Indians unless mentioned): 5-Ching-Wen Hsu (Tpe) bt 1-Prarthana Thombare 6-4, 6-2; 2-Fatma Al Nabhani (Oma) bt 4- Rishika Sunkara 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.