ITF women's tournament: Yubarani knocks out Sathwika in first round

Qualifier Yubarani Banerjee knocked out fifth seed Sathwika Sama 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 in the first round of the ITF women’s tennis tournament on Wednesday.

In a battle that lasted two hours and 10 minutes, Yubarani served and stroked with intensity to get the better of a fighting Sathwika.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

Qualifier Yubarani Banerjee knocked out fifth seed Sathwika Sama 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 in the first round of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Wednesday.

In a battle of wits that lasted two hours and 10 minutes, after early morning rain had delayed the proceedings till afternoon, Yubarani served and stroked with intensity to get the better of a fighting Sathwika.

In the decider, Yubarani ran away with the match from 1-1 to 5-1, but failed to serve it out. However, she broke Sathwika at love in the eighth game to close out the contest in style.

‘’I had lost on my birthday long ago. I know how it feels’’, said Yubarani, as she acknowledged Sathwika’s gutsy game on her birthday.

READ: ITF women's tournament: Humera defeats Saumya to enter second round

In the pre-quarterfinals, Yubarani will meet fellow qualiifier Sandeepti Singh Rao who settled into a good rhythm to beat Smriti Bhasin. Returning from a knee injury, Sandeepti has been slowly
regaining her strong game under the guidance of coach Ankit Patel.

Another qualifier, Avishka Gupta fought on even terms against Sahaja Yamalapalli who pulled through to a 7-5, 6-4 victory in just over two hours.

Top seed Zeel Desai eased past qualifier Anjali Rathi and will face Elena Jamshidi of Denmark in the second round.

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Soha Sadiq played a robust game to get past the energetic game of qualifier Ishwari Matere, and will face fourth seed Vaidehi Chaudhari in the pre-quarterfinals.

In doubles, Sudipta Kumar and Riya Uboveja beat the third seeds Nidhi Chilumula and Saumya Vig 6-4, 6-3 to make the quarterfinals.

The results:

Singles (first round): Zeel Desai bt Anjali Rathi 6-2, 6-4; PunninKovapitukted (Tha) bt Shria Atturu 6-3, 6-0; Sandeepti Singh Rao bt Smriti Bhasin 6-4, 6-2; Yubarani Banerjee bt Sathwika Sama 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Akanksha Nitture bt Sudipta Kumar 6-2, 6-3; Soha Sadiq bt Ishwari
Matere 6-3, 6-3; Sahaja Yamalapalli bt Avishka Gupta 7-5, 6-4; Anna Ureke (Rus) bt Pratyusha Rachapudi 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Sudipta Kumar & Riya Uboveja bt Nidhi Chilumula & Saumya Vig 6-4, 6-3; Vaidehi Chaudhari & Mihika Yadav bt Arthi Muniyan & Niditra Rajmohan 7-5, 6-2.
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