Indore ITF Women’s Tourney: Karman in final

It was the first victory for the 17-year-old Karman over the 23-year-old Prerna, who had beaten her in the final of the last National championship en route to one of her four successive singles titles. Prerna had also beaten her more recently in Gulbarga in the professional circuit.

Karman Kaur Thandi overcame a first set defeat to win the match.   -  Arun Kulkarni

Karman Kaur Thandi made it to the final of the the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament, beating Prerna Bhambri 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the Indore Tennis Club courts on Friday.

It was the first victory for the 17-year-old Karman over the 23-year-old Prerna, who had beaten her in the final of the last National championship en route to one of her four successive singles titles. Prerna had also beaten her more recently in Gulbarga in the professional circuit.

It was a significant victory for the 776th ranked Karman who grappled with her serve yet again, as she delivered 11 double faults in the match.

In a battle of wits that lasted two hours and 24 minutes, the tall Karman handled the crunch better as she ran up a 5-2 lead in the decider, which was such a contrast to the first set when she dropped serve four times.

Prerna also struggled with her serve towards the end, and had nine double faults in all. Karman and Prerna dropped serve seven times each, and Karman won two points more than her opponent.

In the final, Karman will challenge Anastasiya Vasylyeva, who was ranked 129 last year, and served as a substitute for the US Open champion Flavia Pennetta during the recent Champions Tennis League. Vasylyeva knocked out the top seed Katy Dunne of Britain in three sets.

The 23-year-old Vasylyeva won the doubles title with compatriot Veronika Kapshay, beating Karman and Dhruthi Venugopal 6-1, 6-3. It was the first defeat in three tournaments for the Indian pair. It was the 23rd doubles title in the professional circuit for Vasylyeva, who has one title in the $50,000 level and 11 in the $25,000 events.

The results:-

Singles (semifinals): Anastasiya Vasylyeva (Ukr) bt Katy Dunne (GBR) 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3; Karman Kaur Thandi bt Prerna Bhambri 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles (final): Veronika Kapshay Anastasiya Vasylyeva (Ukr) bt Dhruthi Venugopal & Karman Kaur Thandi 6-1, 6-3.