WTA Mumbai Open: India's Rutuja loses to Israeli qualifier in the first-round match

Rutuja becomes the third Indian player along with Karman Kaur Thandi and Zeel Desai to bow out of the tournament after making wildcard entries

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India’s Rutuja Bhosale showed sporadic glimpses of her talent, but lacked consistency and went down rather tamely to qualifier Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel in two straight games in the first-round match of the L&T Mumbai Open WTA 1 25K Series, at the CCI tennis courts, Churchgate on Tuesday.

21-year-old Rutuja ranked 577, had her chances against the 23-year-old Deniz, ranked 271, who played steadily and just kept the ball in play and cashed in on the errors of the Indian to complete a 6-4, 6-3 win in an hour and 15 minutes. Rutuja's poor serve percentage also did not help matters.

Also Read: Indian Girls Karman, Zeel Impress Before Bowing Out

In the first set, both players traded breaks in the first six games as the scores were level at 3-all before Deniz got another break in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, which she worked to her advantage. She then held her serve to extend the lead to 5-3. Rutuja, who recently returned after playing collegiate tennis in the USA, managed to finally hold serve in the ninth game, But the Israel player went on to win the 10th game to clinch the first set 6- 4.

In the second Deniz raced to a 4-0 lead and then beat back a late fightback from the Indian to win the second set at 6-3 and close out the match.


I had to hit back a lot of balls as she had come into the game with a defensive mindset, as that is how she normally plays. She put a lot of balls back and hence they kept getting bigger and harder which became difficult for me as the game went on. She further kept attacking my backhand as she knew my forehand was my strong suit, so in order to hit those forehands, I made many unforced errors. Hence, one thing that I’ve learnt from this tournament is that I have to improve on my strength as all the other girls here are much fitter.” 

Rutuja after the match.

Rutuja became the third Indian, from the four players from India who received wild-card entries, to bow out. On Monday evening, Karman Kaur Thandi and Zeel Desai had also lost to superior opponents.

Earlier, Amandine Hesse of France exhibited solid fighting qualities as she recovered to turn the tables on fourth-seeded Arina Rodionova of Australia coasting to a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory in an hour and 45 minutes. The 24-year-old Frenchwomen trailed 2-5 in the first set, but came back by winning the next four games, including a tough 10th game, to take a 6-5 lead. Arina managed to win the 11th to take the set to the tie-breaker, which Amandine dominated to win it 7-2 and take the first set 7-6.

In the second, Amandine having gained in confidence played more aggressively and hit some fine winners to stay in front throughout before going on to win the set at 6-3 and complete a deserving victory.

Meanwhile, second-seeded Ana Bogdan of Romania cruised to the second round recording an authoritative 6-1, 6-1 win over Mexico’s Victoria Rodrigues, while Chinese Jia-Jing Lu also had an easy out getting past Hungary’s Dalma Galfi 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, another Indian made an exit, when Prarthana Thombare and her Japanese partner Hiroko Kuwata lost to Julia Glushko of Israel and Priscilla Hon of Australia 2-6, 3-6.

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