L&T Mumbai Open: Danka downs Ankita

Danka Kovinic defeated Ankita Raina 6-2, 7-5 in the second round of the 2018 L&T Mumbai Open.

Danka Kovinic in action against Ankita Raina in the L&T Mumbai Open on Thursday.   -  ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY

Summoned to the centre court within 24 hours of an exhilarating match against Rutuja Bhosale on Wednesday evening, India’s top-ranked player, Ankita Raina, was off-colour against Montenegro’s top player Danka Kovinic in their second round match of the $125000 L&T Mumbai Open.

After competing against the equally-talented Rutuja for over two hours in the opening round, Ankita lost to Danka 6-2, 7-5. Her defeat ended India's challenge in the singles competition.

Ankita struggled right through the match and held service only twice, both in the second set when she showed signs of pulling back from 1-4. An appalling line call that went against Danka — once ranked World No. 46 — saw the second set tied at 5-5, but thereafter the European held her nerves to win to advance to the quarterfinals.

Danka was in control of the match, except in the second set when Ankita showed some purpose and gumption to stay in the match and led 5-4. However, she did not have the energy to cause a turnaround.

“The three setter (against Rutuja) could be the reason, but one can play three-setters up to the quarterfinals and match after match. I was a bit slow in the first set and not moving as much I did yesterday. Not able to hold my serve was not playing in my mind; I was trying to find a way out and solutions,” said Ankita.

The results (second round): Saisai Zheng (Chn) bt Bibiane Schoofs (Ned) 6-4,6-2; Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) bt Barbora Stefkova (Cze) 6-3,6-4; Danka Kovinic (Mne) bt Ankita Raina (Ind) 6-2,7-5. First round: Ankita bt Rutuja Bhosale 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5); J Lu (Chn) bt Hibino Nao (Jpn) 6-4, 6-3.