Raina Survives Scare, Advances At KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open

Ankita Raina (photo: Deepthi Indukuri/KSLTA)

BENGAULURU, January 17, 2024 (Press Release)

India’s leading star Ankita Raina rallied brilliantly to come back from the brink of defeat after being down by a set and trailing 1-5 in the second set to come up trumps against Viktoria Morvayova in a first round encounter of the KPB Trust ITF Women’s Open being played at the KSLTA Stadium here on Wednesday. The eighth seed, fighting a sore throat and stomach cramps overcame her Slovakian rival 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 to move into the second round.

On a good day for the Indians, Rutuja Bhosale and Vaidehi Chaudhary also entered the last 16 stage. While Bhosale fought back after losing the first set 0-6 against Eri Shimizu of Japan before winning the next two sets 7-5, 7-5, Chaudhary brushed aside the challenge of Sapfo Sakellaridi of Greece 6-4, 6-2.

In an extremely competitive field, third seed Ekaterina Makarova became the first casualty of the tournament after suffering a straight set defeat from qualifier Naho Sato of Japan 5-7, 2-6. Qualifier Mei Yamaguchi of Japan later sent seventh seed Sofya Lansere home with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. In the longest match of the day that lasted for three hours and 31 minutes, sixth seed Carole Monnet of France overcame Serbian Dejana Radanovic 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9).

Raina, who is just back from being eliminated in the second round of the qualifiers at the Australian Open, was quite rusty in the first set, occasionally shooting down a winner. After struggling to hold her serve in the first game, the 31-year-old ace Indian, suffered due to some poor shot selection. Morvayova, who is ranked more than 200 ranks below Raina, was swift on the court and grabbed the opportunity to register a clean sweep winning five games on the trot to take the first set.

In the second set, Raina broke her opponent’s serve in the first game and was promptly broken back. However, the 22-year-old raced to a 5-1 lead after breaks in the 4th and 6th game and was serving for the match before Raina staged a comeback by not only breaking her serve but going on to win the next five games, with breaks in the 9th and 11th games to make it 1-1.

Continuing in the same vein in the final set, Raina won the first four games courtesy breaks in the 1st and 3rd games. Morvayova lost her temper midway through the set after she deemed a ball to be out but in reality, the ball was in. The only game she could win was the 7th where she was able to hold her serve as the Indian wrapped up the set and the match which lasted for two hours and 14 minutes.


Singles Round of 32

Lena Papadakis (GER) bt Amandine Hesse (FRA) 6-2, 6-3; 5-Polina Kudermetova bt Gergana Topalova (BUL) 6-2, 6-3; 4-Moyuka Uchijima (JPN) bt En Shuo Liang (TPE) 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-1; Q-Mei Yamaguchi (JPN) bt 7-Sofya Lansere 6-2, 6-2; Tatiana Prozorova bt Anastasia Kulikova (FIN) 6-2, 6-3; 8-Ankita Raina (IND) bt Viktoria Morvayova (SVK) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1; 1-Darja Semenistaja (LAT) bt WC-Soha Sadiq (IND) 6-2, 6-1; Rutuja Bhosale (IND) bt Eri Shimizu (JPN) 0-6, 7-5, 7-5; 2-Chloe Paquet (FRA) bt WC-Suhitha Maruri (IND) 6-2, 6-1; Q-Naho Sato (JPN) bt 3-Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-2; Tina Nadine Smith (AUS) bt Lanlana Tararudee (THA) 6-3, 6-2; Jana Kolodynska bt Anna Siskova (CZE) 6-4, 6-2; 6-Carole Monnet (FRA) bt Dejana Radanovic (SRB) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9); Vaidehi Chaudhari (IND) bt Sapfo Sakellaridi (GRE) 6-4, 6-2.