Nidhi Surapaneni puts up a good fight at Citi Open

Nidhi Surapaneni, in partnership with Malkia Menguene of the U.S., put up a good fight before being beaten 3-6, 6-1,10-2 by Sanaz Marand and Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in the pre-quarterfinals of the $250,000 Citi Open WTA tennis tournament.

Nidhi Surapaneni and her doubles partner Malkia Menguene lost in the pre-quarterfinals of the Citi Open.   -  Special Arrangement

Wild card entrant Nidhi Surapaneni, in partnership with Malkia Menguene of the U.S., put up a good fight before being beaten 3-6, 6-1,10-2 by Sanaz Marand and Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in the pre-quarterfinals of the $250,000 Citi Open WTA tennis tournament in Washington.

"We almost had it. We were so close. It is the small things that they could do better that made the difference, and the momentum shifted to their side," said the 17-year-old Nidhi, who had won a grade-3 junior doubles title recently in Vancouver.

"I came to Virginia for a holiday as my cousins live here. Happened to see the 4-star tennis academy and decided to stay for two months," said Nidhi, as put things together about the manner in which the unexpected bonanza of a WTA wild card fell on her.

"My partner trains at the Washington Tennis and Education Academy. Those people saw us play and gave the wild card’’, said Nidhi, who with her partner Malkia, won $960 and one WTA point.

"This was the best chance in my life so far. I could see the pros play. Practice and play with them. It has taught me to never give up. It has shown the importance of hitting the ball really low. Talking to the pros was another level that can never be forgotten’’, said Nidhi,who has taken photos with a number of leading men and women players in the tournament, and spoke with each of them to maximise the gains of such an incredible exposure.