Eetee Maheta wins maiden Asian Tour title

Eetee Maheta tamed top seed Rishika Sunkara 6-4, 6-1 to win the Asian Tour $5000 women's tennis tournament in New Delhi.

Eetee Maheta (right) and Rishika Sunkara (left) pose with their silverware in New Delhi on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

Second seed Eetee Maheta recovered from a slow start to tame top seed Rishika Sunkara 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Asian Tour $5,000 women’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Friday.

After an attacking style of play at the start which saw her trail 2-4, the 20-year-old Eetee changed her tactics and resorted to a cautious game, cutting down on the errors, to win nine games on the trot that fetched her a maiden title.

The tall and wiry Rishika won a token game after trailing 0-5 in the second set, before Eetee closed out the match to pocket $900. The runner-up had to be content with $600. ‘’I have been training well as I could not go for tournaments. I was attacking and making mistakes initially. Then, I started constructing the points and played much better’’, recalled Eetee, who is supported by the Sports Authority of Gujarat.

Having made two singles finals and four doubles finals in the ITF professional circuit, Eetee was quite pleased to make a breakthrough at the Asian level.

‘’I have been improving my serve and the overall game,’’ said Eetee, who had beaten Rishika in a previous Asian event, before subsequently losing to Prerna Bhambri.

‘’There have been only two ITF women’s tournaments at home his season. So, this event is some compensation for some of us who are not able to travel for tournaments abroad’’, said Eetee.

Her brother Sameep Maheta who has been coaching and guiding Eetee, said that ideally the focus should be on international tournaments, but if things did not work out, Eetee would try to make an impact in the Fenesta National championship scheduled to be held here in October.