Prerna Bhambri cruises past qualifier in first round of $25,000 ITF tournament

Playing with her usual flair and hitting the flanks consistently, Prerna toyed with the American, who struggled to put together a meaningful challenge.

Prerna Bhambri will fancy her chances in the second round of the $25,000 ITF tournament against second seed Nastja Kolar of Slovenia.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Four-time national champion Prerna Bhambri put up a vibrant and attacking display much to the joy of the local fans, as she beat qualifier Alexandra Riley of the US 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of the Bhavna Swarup $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament on the grass courts at the Services Club in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Playing with her usual flair and hitting the flanks consistently, Prerna toyed with the American, who struggled to put together a meaningful challenge and was unable to deal with the nuances of the game on the natural surface.

Prerna should fancy her chances in the second round against second seed Nastja Kolar of Slovenia who played a steady game in taming the reigning grass court national champion Riya Bhatia, losing only four games.

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Two-time national champion Mahak Jain was subdued against the crafty third seed Natalija Kostic of Serbia as he won only six games. Interestingly, the 17-year-old Mahak had beaten the 360th ranked Serb in the qualifying event of a similar tournament in Pune in 2016.

Sai Samhitha eased past qualifier Ashmitha Easwaramurthi, and will have a shot at the third seed.

Qualifier Nidhi Chilumula put up a brave fight against seventh seed Aleksandrina Naydenova of Bulgaria but went down in three sets.

Another qualifier, Jennifer Luikham, serving and stroking with impressive fluency, lacked the conviction to convert her chances after leading 3-1 in the first set against fourth seed Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia.

Results
 

Singles (first round):

Nastalija Kostic (Srb) bt Mahak Jain 6-2, 6-4

Sai Samhitha bt Ashmitha Easwaramurthi 6-2, 6-1

Aleksandrina Naydenova (Bul) bt NIdhi Chilumula 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Melanie Klaffner (Aut) bt Natalia Stedliska (Ger) 7-^(5), 6-1

Tereza Mihalikova (Svk) bt Jennifer Luikham 6-3, 6-3

Kyoka Okamura bt Dan Ni Wang (Chn) 6-0, 6-2

Karin Kennel (Sui) bt Anna Makhorkina (Rus) 6-4, 6-3

Prerna Bhambri bt Alexandra Riley (US) 6-2, 6-0

Nastja Kolar (Slo) bt Riya Bhatia 6-1, 6-3.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals):

Aleksandrina Naydenova (Bul) & Sarah-Rebecca Sekulic (Ger) bt Jennifer Luikham & Saumya Vig 6-1, 6-1

Nidhi Chilumula & Ashmitha Easwaramurthi bt Leera Raju & Sai Dedeepya 6-0, 6-1

Natalia Siedliska (Ger) & Zeel Desai bt Deeksha Manju Prasad & Soha Sadiq 6-4, 6-0.