This week the only one who played on ATP challenger tour for us was Ramkumar Ramanathan in doubles at Lugano Challenger in Switzerland. But he with his French partner Jonathan Eysseric lost in the first round against an Austrian pair of Philip Oswald and Neil Oberleitner 26 67(1)
Womens ITF circuit continued this week with the biggest tournament of this series – W40 in Bangalore.
And Indian players had their best week this week in the highest level tournament when it mattered most.
Rutuja Bhosale and Ankita Raina made it to the singles semi final to play each other. Rutuja had 3 comeback from behind wins in 3 sets ( after losing first one in each match) including superb upset of second seed in first round. I think in terms of points earned this was the best ever week in singles of her career for Rutuja.
Ankita Raina performed as per her fourth seeding and dominating in her wins except the third set where she was taken to the third set after leading 61 41 at one time.
In the semi final, Ankita proved too good for Rutuja and thrashed her 61 61.
Ankita continued her impressive form in the final against top seed 15 year old phenom Brenda Fruhvitiva winning the first set 60 and one point was leading 30 in the second set before Brenda started her big comeback and after than Brenda won 12 of the next 13 game to win the final and take the title.
Still a terrific weak for Ankita which will take to #223 in WTA rankings on Monday, 13th March. This more or less ensures that she will gets into qualifying of both French open and Wimbledon. She has a few points to defend in April but nothing in May. So, just a few wins here and there will ensure that Ankita will stay inside top 240 which will be needed to make it to grand slam qualifying draws.
These are the results of our players this week –
[Q1] (9) Vaidehi Chaudhuri (IND,492) d. Junri Namigata (JPN,707) 62 60
[Q2] (9) Vaidehi Chaudhuri (IND,492) d. (8) Punnin Kovapitukted (THA, 521) 61 62
[R1] (WC) Zeel Desai (IND,643) d. (Q) Sarah-Rebecca Sekulic (GER,672) 63 62
[R1] (Q) Vaidehi Chaudhuri (IND,492) l. (6) Priska Madelyn Nugroho (INA,280) 26 16
[R1] (4) Ankita Raina (IND,241) d. (WC) Vanshita Pathania (IND,NR) 63 60
[R1] (WC) Sahaja Yamlapalli (IND,454) l. Diana Marcinkevica (LAT,289) 67(8) 36
[R1] Rutuja Bhosale (IND,419) d. (2) Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE,198) 46 64 60
[R2] (WC) Zeel Desai (IND,643) l. (6) Priska Madelyn Nugroho (INA,280) 75 36 57
[R2] (4) Ankita Raina (IND,241) d. Lanlana Tararudee (THA,356) 62 61
[R2] Rutuja Bhosale (IND,419) d. Diana Marcinkevica (LAT,289) 46 63 62
[QF] (4) Ankita Raina (IND,241) d. Dear Herdzelas (BIH,370) 61 67(7) 75
[QF] Rutuja Bhosale (IND,419) d. (8) Eden Silva (GBR,304) 36 76(5) 64
[SF] (4) Ankita Raina (IND,241) d. Rutuja Bhosale (IND,419) 61 61
[F] (4) Ankita Raina (IND,241) l. (1) Brenda Fruhvitiva (CZE,163) 60 46 06
On mens side, few of our players played in M15 in Kish Island in Iran. 3 of them were in the main draw and 21 year old Kabir Hans had a nice win over fellow Indian 6th seed SD Prajwal Dev in straight sets. First ATP point for Kabir. But, in the second round Kabir lost against an Italian player.
But, Ishaque Eqbal (IND,1045) beat Kiyan Santino Kasemi (GER,1857) 61 61 in first round and than upset 5th seeded Marco Miceli (ITA,709) 63 64 in second round.
In QF, Ishaque lost to MAXENCE Broville (FRA,988) 46 16.
One notable result worth mentioning was in ITF juniors J30 tournament in Gurugram.
13 year old Vihaan Reddy played his first ITF juniors tournament and won the singles title comfortably beating everyone much older than him and losing only a couple of sets on the way to the title . 13 year olds winning ITF junior titles is rare. Vihaan has been playing in US circuit and is ranked 4th in world in UTR rankings in the world. So, he is a name to watch out for the future.