WTA Mumbai Open: Ankita Raina marches on to the QF with a straight-sets win

The wild-card entrant, ranked 293rd in WTA rankings will face unseeded Amandine Hesse of France in the Quarter Finals

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India’s Ankita Raina, a wild-card entrant, proved that her first-round win over Russian Veronika Kudermetova was no fluke. 

The 24-year-old Indian ranked 293 in the WTA rankings seemed to have tremendously gained in confidence and produced another impressive performance to tame unseeded Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand, ranked 244, in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals of the L&T Mumbai Open WTA 125K Series.

Ankita was all charged up and played some smart shots, including a couple of sliced drop winners and also whipped some brilliant passing shots past the Thai opponent to take total control. The India with three breaks each in the first and second sets went on to complete a commanding 6-2, 6-2 victory over her 25-year-old opponent in a second-round match played on Centre Court at the CCI, on Thursday.

In the quarter-finals, Ankita will meet 265th ranked unseeded Amandine Hesse of France who defeated qualifier Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel in the sets winning at 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 in the 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Plipuech who had scored a shock win against sixth seed Lizette Cabrera of Australia broke the Indian only once each in both the sets as she surrendered quite meekly.

Ankita now has a 3-2 win-loss record against Plipuech, who had scored a shock win against sixth seed Lizette Cabrera of Australia in a first-round match yesterday.

The Indian faced a bit of opposition initially as she dropped her serve in the third game. Ankita made two unforced errors to give the Thai player a 15-40 advantage which she managed to convert with a superb cross-court passing shot.

Ankita bounced back in style and broke in the next to level scores at 2-all. The Ahmedabad born and Pune-based Ankita suddenly started to call the shots and forced two more breaks in the sixth and eight games to close out the set 6-2.

Having wrested the initiative Ankita continued to dictate terms and did not allow her opponent to get back. She broke her Thai opponent in the second, sixth and eighth games to wrap up the match in an hour and seven minutes.

The Indian player who trains in Pune mentioned that her coach Hemant Bhendrey admitted that she was confident “Since I played her before I knew she would put the ball down the line and try to move me side to side. So I had to mix it up a little bit. I normally play an aggressive game but I realised that the powerful shots were not the right ones to play, so I tried to use my drop shots to break her rhythm,” said Ankita after her victory.

She also mentioned that she had worked out some strategies d with her coach Hemant Bendrey in the morning. “I had practiced this in training in the morning and today’s game was a much smarter one in comparison to yesterday’s,” she added.

The fifth seed Naomi Broady, ranked 117 from Great Britain continued her form by defeating Junri Namigata from Japan in just under an hour. She won the match in straight sets with 6-2, 6-2.


Results (2nd round): 5-Naomi Broady (GBR) bt Junri Namigata (JPN) 6-2, 6-2;

Amandine Hesse (FRA) bt Q-Deniz Khazaniuk (ISR) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1;

WC-Ankita Raina (IND) bt Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) 6-2, 6-2.

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