Vaidehi gets the better of Ankita

Vaidehi Chaudhari played a robust attacking game, serving strong, moving briskly and hitting strokes fluently on both flanks, to outwit the country’s No. 1 player and the third seed, Ankita Raina 7-6(7), 6-3 in the first round of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Ankita played very well, but the 22-year-old Vaidehi survived the set points to take the first set and that turned the tide in her favour. It was the first meeting between the two in the professional circuit and proved unforgettable for Vaidehi.

Qualifier Vineetha Mummadi, recovered after losing the first set to be on level terms with second seed Peangtarn Plipuech, before the Thai retired owing to exhaustion, unable to tackle the heat and humidity.

Vineetha will challenge another Thai Punnin Kovapitukted, who recovered from being down 1-4 in the decider to beat Zeel Desai 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) in a gripping battle that lasted three hours and 35 minutes.

Sowjanya Bavisetti overcame a slow start to beat qualifier Elena Pridankina 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-3. She will challenge Karman Thandi in the second round.

Shrivalli Bhamidipaty beat fellow trainee from Hyderabad and qualifier Kundali Majgaine after a hesitant start to set up a second round against seventh seed Misaki Matsuda of Japan.

Fifth seed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand retired early in the third set against Momoko Kobori of Japan.

The results: First round: Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) bt Akanksha NItture 6-0, 6-4; Mansi Vadyala (US) bt Ananyaa Bhargava 6-4, 6-4; Sofia Costoulas (Bel) bt Ikumi Yamazaki (Jpn) 7-5, 6-3; Ekaterina Yashina (Rus) bt Vanshika Choudhary 6-1, 6-4; Viktoria Morvayova (Svk) bt Gozal Ainitdinova (Kaz) 4-3 (retired); Anna Ukolova (Rus) bt Nidhi Chilumula 6-4, 6-0; Momoko Kobori (Jpn) bt Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) 6-3, 6-7(3), 2-0 (retired); Sowjanya Bavisetti bt Elena Pridankina (Rus) 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-3; Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Ankita Raina 7-6(7), 6-3; Misaki Matsuda (Jpn) bt Priska Nugroho (Ina) 6-2, 6-4; Shrivalli Bhamidipaty bt Kundali Majgaine 6-2, 6-1; Punnin Kovapitukted (Tha) bt Zeel Desai 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2); Vineetha Mummadi bt Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) 1-6, 6-3 (retired).