Singles main draw begins Tuesday in Mumbai Open

The Mumbai Open 2018 matches which were scheduled to begin on Monday, have been moved to Tuesday for effective crowd control at the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai.

File Photo: 2017 Mumbai Open winner Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus returns a shot against Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia during the singles final on November 26, 2017.   -  ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY

Action in main draw singles in the USD 125,000 WTA L&T Mumbai Open will commence at the Cricket Club of India on Tuesday.

Third seed Sachia Vickery of the USA will face-off against Israel’s Deniz Khazaniuk in a main draw first round match to kick-off the tournament.

The proceedings were set originally to start on Monday, but the organisers decided to give a break for effective crowd control with the match timings clashing with that of the fourth ODI between India and the West Indies in the adjacent Brabourne Stadium which also belongs to CCI.

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The four Indian players in the main draw will begin their singles campaign on Wednesday, with Ankita Raina facing Rutuja Bhosle, Karman Kaur Thandi taking on top seed Zheng Saisai of China and qualifier Pranjala Yadlapalli meeting 5th seed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand.

Incidentally, Ankita will also face-off against Rutuja in the doubles, Tuesday, with their respective partners.

India’s Prarthana Thombare will also feature in doubles action on the same day.

Sachia’s match on centre court will be followed by last years runner-up and 2nd seed Dalila Jakupovic of Slovakia taking on Russias Veronika Kudermetova.

Also featuring in Tuesday’s action will be wild card and 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki of Germany against eighth seed Nao Hibino of Japan.

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Speaking on her upcoming match against Rutuja, Ankita said, “I have played Rutuja a couple of times in the past and I am expecting this to be a good contest.”

“After reaching my first quarter-final at the Mumbai Open last year, my career graph has climbed upwards and I am hoping to do better in the 2nd edition.

“The Mumbai Open is a great opportunity for female tennis players in India,” the India women’s No. 1 added.