L&T Mumbai Open 2018: Saisai’s poise subdues Kamran

It was the second time India’s promising star Karman Kaur Thandi met China’s World No. 47, Saisai Zheng in a professional tour match in the L&T Mumbai Open 125K series.

In home conditions, the 24-year-old Saisai (above) thrashed Kamran in straight sets allowing her opponent to win only four games.   -  Vivek Bendre

It was the second time India’s promising star Karman Kaur Thandi met China’s World No. 47, Saisai Zheng in a professional tour match in the L&T Mumbai Open 125K series at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) courts on Wednesday.

Four months ago it was in the $ 250,000 event in Nanchang, China. In home conditions, the 24-year-old Saisai thrashed Kamran in straight sets allowing her opponent to win only four games. From July to October, nothing much appeared to have changed; Saisai won the first round here in straight games, but the tall and wiry Karman, warmed the cockles of many a heart, with the whipping groundstrokes of her forehand in the second set. Trailing 2-6, 1-5, Karman rattled the superior ranked opponent who showed calm and composure to win the tenth game of the second set and the match.

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Karman, a wild card entrant in the competition, began in style winning the first two games and the first two points in the third. Thereafter, the roll of the dice decisively fell favour of Saisai who won ten games on the trot. Suddenly Karman was just four points away from being beaten hollow, but she demonstrated plenty of pluck with solid groundstrokes, moving about the court with languid grace.

“It was a good start with serves and everything, but she was consistent, though obviously not unbeatable. If I had won the third game, she would have been under pressure. I missed short balls, finishing balls. From 1-5 down in the second, I was hitting the ball well, making her move by changing directions. But, I had given too much of a lead to her,” said Karman.

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Results:

Singles: 1-Saisai Zheng (CHN) bt Karman Thandi (IND) 6-2, 6-4; Danka Kovinic (MNE) bt 4-Olga Danilovic (SRB) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0; 6-Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) bt Tereza Mrdeza (CRO) 6-3, 6-2;

2nd round: Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE) bt Deniz Khazaniuk (ISR) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) bt Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 6-4, 6-2.