India’s No. 2 Karman defeated Raina in a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 comeback win in the semifinal; The duo later defeated Tamara & Aleksandrina to win the Pune Open doubles title
It was a day when numerous seeded players bowed out. But it was clearly a day for the Indian duo Ankita Raina and Karman Thandi. The clash between the two of India’s best tennis players witnessed a breathtaking match. Nonetheless, it was Karman Kaur Thandi who emerged victorious she made a stunning comeback from a set down to beat Ankita Raina. As a result, she has now reached the final of the ITF $25,000 tournament in Pune.
After their singles match, the all-Indian duo went on to lift the doubles title, their second together, as they beat Tamara Zidansek and Aleksandrina Naydenova 6-2, 6(5)-7,11-9 in what turned out to be a thrilling final.
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Karman, who is ranked 219, managed to beat World No. 213 Ankita Raina by 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-final of BVG Pune Open played at the Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex, Balewadi. The 20-year-old was the second favourite among the two to win the title, with Raina being the second seed.
This was not the first time the duo have faced each other in a competitive match. The Indian pair had played against each other once in the professional circuit before. However, it was Raina who had won the match last year in Navi Mumbai.
This year, it was Thandi who expelled Raina in the semifinals with a tenacious win. After losing the first set, she came back strongly to break her opponent on four occasions and fittingly used her powerful serve to seal the win. In fact, Thandi fired 6 aces in the match, winning 76% of her points on the first serve.
It was a difficult match for Raina, who had notched an easy 6-0, 6-0 win in the quarterfinals against Zhang Kailin. Thandi, on the other hand, had taken the impressive route to beat Valeriya Strakhova 7-6 (11-9), 6-2.
After a few hours, the two compatriots were on the same side of the net as they won the second title together this month. Prior to the game, they had managed to win the WTA $125K tournament in Taipei in November.
In an interesting singles final, the fourth-seeded Thandi will now have to face Slovenia’s Zidansek, the top seed.