Ankita Raina beaten at Birmingham

Ankita Raina went down fighting 7-5, 2-6, 2-6 to Tereza Smitkova of the Czech Republic in the second qualifying round of the $885,440 Aegon Classic WTA event in Birmingham on Sunday.

It was a good fight by the 273rd ranked Ankita against an opponent who was ranked 57 two years ago, and has a title at $125,000 level.   -  REUTERS

Ankita Raina went down fighting 7-5, 2-6, 2-6 to Tereza Smitkova of the Czech Republic in the second qualifying round of the $885,440 Aegon Classic WTA event in Birmingham on Sunday. It was a good fight by the 273rd ranked Ankita against an opponent who was ranked 57 two years ago, and has a title at $125,000 level.

“I played well in the first set and she was missing after four or five shots. In the second and third set she stepped up,” said Ankita, about her 160th ranked opponent. Ankita had done very well to beat Katy Dunne of Britain 7-6(6), 6-4 in the first round. It fetched her 13 WTA points and $1903.

Sania Mirza will be playing the main draw of doubles in the tournament with CoCo Vanderweghe of the US, as an unseeded pair.

With her doubles rank at 188, Ankita could not dream of making the doubles draw in Birmingham. “The cut off for doubles was 63 combined,” remarked Ankita. Meanwhile, the reigning national hard court and grass court champion, Riya Bhatia finished runner-up in the $15,000 ITF women’s event in Romania.

Four-time national champion Prerna Bhambri qualified and joined her doubles partner Natasha Palha, apart from Karman Kaur Thandi and Dhruthi Venugopal in the main draw of the $25,000 ITF event in Uzbekistan.

Top seed Sumit Nagal warmed up with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over NIki Poonacha in the first round of the $15,000 ITF men’s Futures event in Sri Lanka.