Misc Tennis

Stage set for some exciting matches at the L&T Mumbai Open

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

A relaxed Ankita Raina on the eve of the L&T Mumbai Open
| Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

It will be a big opportunity for Ankita Raina and Indian women’s tennis to excel as the L&T Mumbai Open WTA tennis tournament returns to the financial capital of the country after a gap of six years.

Ankita fondly recalled the confidence she had gained by making the quarterfinals of the 2017 edition at the CCI courts where a precocious Arina Sabalenka won her maiden WTA title.

“It is great that we have the WTA event here again. I have been looking forward to this event. This tournament did a world of good to me. After the quarterfinal here in 2017, I made it to the Grand Slam qualifying events next year.

“Won the Asian Games medal, and thereafter played doubles in all Grand Slams. It was not just a boost to my ranking, but I also gained a lot mentally. It is a great chance for our girls to shine”, said Ankita, as she thanked the organisers and the national federation for keeping players occupied with a flurry of events.

National champion Shrivalli Bhamidipaty sustained her strong game and stout approach to beat Viktoria Morvayova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the second and final qualifying round to make the main draw that starts on Monday.

“I am proud the way I handled the match despite a brief lapse in focus in the second set. I started strong in the third set and played well, despite missing a few shots, to make it”, said Shrivalli who will challenge second seed Nao Hibino of Japan.

With her big game and the new found patience, apart from the conviction in her ability, Shrivalli is capable of beating anyone in the field.

The field has several strong players including the exciting Alina Korneeva. The 16-year-old was junior World No.1 last year when she won the Australian Open and French Open titles apart from making the Wimbledon semifinals. She also won the World Junior Finals.

Korneeva has already won three women’s titles, including the $100,000 event in Portugal last year as a qualifier where she outclassed Carole Monnet of France 6-0, 6-0 in the final. She qualified and won a round in the Australian Open this year, beating World No. 57 Sara Sorribes Torno of Spain.

For sure, it is going to be a lively week of action. Tournament Director Sunder Iyer said that fans had to download the tournament app to get their entry ticket for the event.

The seedings: 1. Kayla Day (USA), 2. Nao Hibino (Jpn), 3. Tamara Zidansek (Slo), 4. Arina Rodionova (Aus), 5. Laura Pigossi…

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