Sowjanya Bhavisetti wins Pune ITF singles title

The Unseeded Sowjanya, who had also knocked out national champion Riya Bhatia in the quarterfinals, beats Mihika Yadav 7-5, 6-2 in the summit clash of the USD 10,000 hard court event.

Sowjanya’s first title had come in 2013 in Sharm El Sheikh while she won her second singles trophy in Aurangabad in 2014 on clay.   -  Nagara Gopal

Unseeded Sowjanya Bavisetti (22) capitalised on wild card competitor Mihika Yadav's plethora of errors to win the women's singles title of the KPIT-MSTLA BVGITF tournament here on Saturday. Sowjanya won the one hour 27 minute-long final 7-5, 6-2. Sowjanya gained 12 WTA points and a prize money of Rs. 1,05,056.

This was her first ITF singles title of the season and third of her career with a straight-set win over the promising Mihika Yadav in the final, here today.

Sowjanya’s first title had come in 2013 in Sharm El Sheikh while she won her second singles trophy in Aurangabad in 2014 on clay.

The 16-year-old unranked Mihika had better ground strokes, but Sowjanya played smartly by using her height advantage. She made it tough for Mihika by playing many shots that went above the head of her diminutive opponent.

Mihika though had a splendid tournament as she beat many established players such as second seed Dhruti Tatachar Venugopal and fourth seed Olympian Prarthana Thombare en route to the final.

The young Maharashtra player paid the price for making too many unforced errors today.

Sowjanya, who hails from Hyderabad, broke Mihika in the sixth game but lost her own in the next. It was 5-5 after another exchange of breaks.

Sowjanya broke her rival one more time in the 12th game to take the lead. Struggling with her first serve, Mihika dropped serve in sixth game at love to hand Sowjanya the advantage.

Coached by former national grass court champion and her fiance Krishna Suresh, Sowjanya closed the match with another break in the eighth game as Mihika sent a backhand to the net on first match point.

“I had come here without expectations. I hardly had a one and a half week practice since I got injured at an ATT event in Delhi, where I twisted my ankle. I wasn’t expecting much,” 23-year-old Sowjanya said after the match.

Asked why she is not getting results consistently, Sowjanya said lack of infrastructure in her state and good training is the reason.

“It takes 45 minutes to reach the gym from the tennis courts in my place and another 90 minutes to the swimming pool. Also I am injury prone,” she added.

(With inputs from agencies)