Ankita beats Rutuja, to face Brenda in KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open singles final

India’s Ankita Raina defeated compatriot Rutuja Bhosale 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday to set up a singles title clash with top seeded Brenda Fruhvirtova in the KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open at the KSLTA Stadium in Bengaluru.

The 15-year-old tennis sensation Fruhvirtova of Czech Republic overcame the challenge from the fifth seed Slovakian Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the other semi-final clash.

The on-going $40k tournament is part of the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour and it is hosted by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA).

Meanwhile, top-seeded pair of Jorge Francisca and Jorge Matilde of Portugal won the doubles title, defeating fourth seeded Greco-British duo of Valentini Grammatikopolou and Eden Silva 5-7, 6-0, 10-3 in the final.

KP Balaraj, founder of KPB Family Trust, handed over the trophy to the winners. Sunil Yajaman, the Joint Secretary of KSLTA was also present during the award ceremony.

The No. 4 seed Raina was in full control of the proceedings on a blazing afternoon as she gave little chances to Bhosale, who hardly had any answers to the power game of Raina, floundering in all departments. A double fault by Bhosale on the match point handed Raina the second set in the simplest of manners.

“Every match is different and you have to be at your best — mentally and physically. There are days when you don’t feel 100 percent physically but, on those days, you need to bring out your best from the mental side and push your body. I was able to play tactically, how I’d planned and what my coach had asked me to do in today’s match,” Raina said after the match.

“I have seen Brenda for the first time here. I will discuss with the coach, more like what I can do on the court, all about taking those big decisions, and think tactically when suddenly the momentum shifts [in the final]. I am happy and excited to play in the final after 2021 or 2022 because of Covid and it will be a delight to lift a trophy in India,” added the top-rated Indian.

In contrast, Fruhvirtova’s match was much closer than the scoreline suggested. Jakupovic had built a commanding 5-1 lead in the first set before the Czech lass made the turnaround to make it 5-5.

Jakupovic again broke Fruhvirtova for a 6-5 lead but the latter levelled the score to take the first set to a tie-break. Fruhvirtova won the set without much fuss and in the second set fight seemed to have ebbed out of Jakupovic.

The singles final will be played on Sunday at 3pm.

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