Chennai Open: Karman-Rutuja pair advances to quarterfinals; Raina’s campaign ends with doubles loss

Karman Kaur Thandi partnered with Rutuja Bhosale to beat compatriot Prarthana Thombare and Indonesian Jessy Rompries in women’s doubles first round.

File Photo: Ankita Raina’s campaign at the WTA250 Chennai Open ended on Wednesday.

File Photo: Ankita Raina’s campaign at the WTA250 Chennai Open ended on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar

Karman Kaur Thandi partnered with Rutuja Bhosale to beat compatriot Prarthana Thombare and Indonesian Jessy Rompries in women’s doubles first round.

Karman Kaur Thandi put the disappointment of second-round loss to Eugenie Bouchard in singles behind her and partnered with Rutuja Bhosale to beat compatriot Prarthana Thombare and Indonesian Jessy Rompries in women’s doubles first round at the WTA250 Chennai Open late on Wednesday.

After playing a two hours 13 minutes long match against Bouchard on Center Court at the SDAT Stadium in Nungambakkam, Karman paired up with Rutuja on Court 1 and the duo came from 3-6, 2-5 down to defeat Thombare and Rompies 3-6, 7-6 (5), [10-4] in a one hour 55 minutes thriller which ended at 1:05AM.

Karman and Rutuja had received last-minute entry into the doubles draw as alternates after the withdrawal of Andorran-Argentine duo of V. Jimenez Kasintseva (left hip injury) and Nadiia Podoroska. The all-Indian duo will next face the top-seeded Canadian-Brazilian pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Ankita Raina’s campaign at the event came to a close.

Having lost to Wimbledon semifinalist Tatjana Maria in straight sets in the first round in singles on Tuesday, Raina suffered defeat in the same manner in doubles too as the Indian and her Dutch partner Rosalie Van Der Hoek were beaten 1-6, 4-6 by the all-Russian duo of Anastasia Gasanova and Oksana Selekhmeteva.

Raina and Van Der Hoek struggled to tackle the power behind the shots from 23-year-old Gasanova and 19-year-old Selekhmeteva and conceded the first set inside 24 minutes.

The Indo-Dutch pair showed better performance in the second. The two teams exchanged break of serves in the third and fourth game. At deciding point on Selekhmeteva’s serve in the sixth game, Ankita hit a cross court forehand return followed by a cross court backhand before Van Der Hoek hit a forehand volley splitting the two Russians to go ahead at 4-2.

Ankita hit a forehand volley long at 40-30 in the following game providing Russians the opportunity to break back which they duly did.

The Indo-Dutch pair took it to deciding point on Gasanova’s serve in the eighth game but from there on, it was all about the Russian duo which closed out the set courtesy of some sloppy errors on the volley from the Dutchwoman. 

Van Der Hoek got a code violation for racquet abuse at match point and left the court scolding herself after the loss. 

“It was too much of an adrenaline rush and she was pissed off because we had the match. Usually in doubles, the match changes from one point. In second set, we were doing the right things but it was also windy. Windy for both pairs actually. I had that one volley at 40-30 which I didn’t expect that would go out because we were playing against the wind,” said Raina after the match.

The wildcard Indian pair of Sharmadaa Baluu and Riya Bhatia too got knocked out in the opening round, losing 2-6, 5-7 to the Japanese-Thai duo of Moyuka Uchijima and Peangtarn Plipuech.

Japanese qualifier Nao Hibino upset sixth-seeded Chinese player Qiang Wang 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

Court 2

Dabrowski and Stefani reached the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Greek Despina Papamichail and Britain’s Katie Swan. This was Stefani’s first match on tour in more than a year after suffering a terrible knee injury during the 2021 US Open women’s doubles semifinal.

Swan and Papamichail put the top seed under pressure early on and even had two break points in the fifth and seventh game. However, the more experienced pair of Dabrowski and Stefani broke Papamichail’s serve in the tenth game to seal the first set. 

The second set was a more straightforward one for Dabrowski, world number 11 in doubles, and Stefani as they raced to a 5-0 lead before closing the match.

In the other doubles matches on Court 2, the Georgian-Russian pair of Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze upset second seeds Kaitlyn Christian of the US and Lidziya Marozava of Belarus 5-7, 6-1, [10-8].

The Australian-Dutch pair of Olivia Tjandramulia and Arianne Hartono defeated the Australian-Russian duo of Astra Sharma and Ekaterina Yashina 6-3, 6-1.

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