Ankita breezes into the final

March 17, 2018

Ankita breezes into the final


Ankita Raina defeated Yana Sizikova of Russia in the semifinals of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament here on Friday.

The 25-year-old Ankita was blasting her way past the Russian with such intensity and quick feet that Sizikova complained of dizziness and retired, even before the medical attention or the referee could get on the court.

Ankita led 6-2, 4-0 in just about an hour when Sizikova walked across the net to shake hands, signalling to the chair umpire that she was quitting. The doctor arrived along with the referee Sheetal Iyer to take a look at the plight of Sizikova, and the match was closed with a proper announcement.

Ankita had started well and ran up a 3-1 lead, but dropped serve in the fifth game. That possibly shook her a bit as she raced away with the next seven games, smacking her strokes beyond the reach of the Russian, who had surrendered the first set with a double fault.

To her credit, Sizikova did try to fight, and fired a few aces, but lacked the rhythm in her game or the mobility to make it a better contest against a quality opponent who was not giving anything easy.

In the final, Ankita will play second seed Amandine Hesse of France who stopped the fortnight-long superb run of 19-year-old Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia with an authoritative performance.

Ankita did play a superb match against Hesse in the quarterfinals of the $125,000 WTA event in Mumbai last year, but would be keen to improve her record against the French girl who is coached by former World No. 62 Stephanie Foretz.

Hesse broke the wiry Slovak’s serve in the seventh game and bounced back from 0-40 in the next game to consolidate on the gains.

The 25-year-old French girl completely broke the resistance of Tereza in the second set, by running up a 4-1 lead, breaking the serve of the champion of last week’s event in Bhopal, in the first and fifth games.

Some cheer

There was some cheer for Sizikova later in the evening as she and Ana Veselinovic won the doubles title.

Sizikova and Veselinovic, playing only the second time together, pocketed their second title as a pair, beating Freya Christie of Britain and Albina Khabibulina of Uzbekistan 10-5 in the super tie-break.

The results: Semifinals: Ankita Raina bt Yana Sizikova (Rus) 6-2, 4-0 (retired); Amandine Hesse (Fra) bt Tereza Mihalikova (Svk) 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles (final): Yana Sizikova (Rus) & Ana Veselinovic (Mne) bt Freya Christie (GBr) & Albina Khabibulina (Uzb) 6-3, 2-6, [10-5].

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