L&T Mumbai Open: Pranjala Yadlapalli enters main draw

She defeated Georgia’s Oksana Kalashnikova in straight sets in the qualifying round.

Pranjala Yadlapalli took an hour and 15 minutes to defeat Oksana Kalashnikova. Photo: G. Viswanath

Pranjala Yadlapalli is all set to cut her teeth in the main draw of a WTA competition for the first time. On Sunday, the 19-year-old made short work of Georgia’s Oksana Kalashnikova in the second and final qualifying round match of the L & T Mumbai Open at the Cricket Club of India courts. Pranjala outwitted her opponent in a little under 75 minutes.

The Guntur-born Pranjala will take on fifth seed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in a first round match. Luksika, who beat Pranjala in an ITF event in Thailand last year, has a superior ranking of 102 in the WTA list. The other  Indians in the main draw of 32 - Ankita Raina will take on wild card Rutuja Bhosale and Kamran Kaur Thandi will play the World No. 47 and top seed, China’s Saisai Zheng. The second Indian in the final qualfying round, national champion Mahak Jain lost to Japan’s  Hiroko Kuwata.

It has been a highly successful year for Pranjala, who since August, has been in sparkling form, winning two ITF 3 and 4 category tournaments in Lagos and reaching semifinals of an ITF 3 event in Thailand. In fact she has been consistent winning 27 hard court singles matches this tear in 15 tournaments, including the ongoing $ 125,000 WTA competition here. She has also won four matches on clay in two  tournaments. She is currently ranked third behind Ankita Raina and Kamran Kaur Thandi in the AITA and WTA Ranking (280).

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Israel’s Julia Glushko, who lost to Kamran in the semifinals of the Nanning ITF category 2 event on Saturday, has withdrawn from the Mumbao Open and her place in the main draw has been given to Gerogia’s Sophia Shapatava as a lucky loser.

The main draw, set to start on Monday has been put off by a day because the fourth ODI between India and West Indies is scheduled to start at 1.30PM. "We had permission to play a few matches tomorrow. But after taking into account all aspects, including security, we decided to start the first round matches on Tuesday. The players will practice at the MSLTA courts on Monday," said Sundar Iyer, Secretary, MSLTA.

Results
  • Singles qualifiers (Round 2)
  • Pranjala Yadlapalli (IND) bt Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) 6-4, 6-3;
  • Tereza Martincova (CZE) bt Sofia Shapatava (GEO) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0;
  • Hiroko Kuwata (JPN) bt Mahak Jain (IND) 6-3, 6-4;
  • Urszula Radwanska (Poland) bt Natalija Kostic (Serbia) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.