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Sport - Tennis Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

An opportunity for Indians to excel

By Kamesh Srinivasan

NEW DELHI, JAN. 18. It will be another opportunity for the Indian women to assert themselves when the $10,000 ITF women's circuit tennis tournament unfolds at the DLTA Complex here on Monday.

Rushmi Chakravarti had done well to make the final in a field that had quality players last week in Hyderabad, but like the others, she also found the 600-odd ranked Sandy Gumulya a tough nut to crack.

The fact that Samrita Sekar had stretched Sandy to her wit's end in the second round of the tournament gives a fair indication of the depth of talent in the Indian ranks. There is a constant change in the power equation, quite nicely reflected in Ankita Bhambri beating the top-seeded Isha Lakhani.

However, Isha is at the moment the best in Indian women's tennis, a fact she had asserted by beating Sania Mirza on way to the final of the $25,000 event recently. Isha is also the highest ranked Indian woman on the WTA computer, and would be keen to win an event of this magnitude at home, after having won one abroad last season.

Delhi is a happy hunting ground for the gutsy left-hander, as Isha was crowned the Asian junior champion a few weeks back at the same venue.

Isha apart, a clutch of Indian girls will be out to emphasise their ability, and that should provide for an exciting week of competition.

The seedings: 1. Isha Lakhani, 2. Rushmi Chakravarti, 3. Megha Vakharia, 4. Montinee Tangphong (Tha), 5. Tomoyo Takagishi (Jpn); 6. Sai Jayalakshmy, 7. Giorgia Mortello (Ita); 8. Dianna Julianto (Ina).

The results (qualifying event):

Second and final round: Iciri Rai bt Krushmi Chheda 6-3, 7-5; Sheethal Goutham bt Rati Kumar 6-0, 6-2; Sandhya Nagaraj bt Neha Rana 6-0, 6-0; Minori Takemoto (Jpn) bt Khushchehr Italia 6-1, 6-2.

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