Indian tennis player Ankita Raina won her first singles title of the 2019 season on Sunday. This is her eighth overall win after beating top seed Arantxa Rus in straight sets in the final of the USD 25,000 event in Singapore.
She came into the tournament after participating in Australian Open Qualifiers where she defeated world number 122 and the Dutch top seed 6-3 6-2 in one hour and 23 minutes.
? India’s No. 1 woman tennis player Ankita Raina won her first singles title of the season and 8th overall after defeating top seed Arantxa Rus in straight sets (6-3,6-2) in the final of the $25,000 #ITF women’s tennis tournament@ankita_champ pic.twitter.com/nPtlKIearT
— Gujarat Information (@InfoGujarat) January 21, 2019
Ankita beat four seeded players in the tournament. First, she beat eighth seed Dutch Lesley Kerkhove in the second round. The 25-year-old Raina then won against second seed Uzbek Sabina Sharipova and third seed Conny Perrin from Switzerland.
The 50 points earned from the title triumph are likely to take Ankita to a career-high singles rank of 168 when the new WTA list will be announced on Monday.
“I’ve been working on my serve for a long while now and I think it’s starting to help. I also feel there’s more power in the strokes. It definitely helped to play the Grand Slam as the first tournament of the year. It gave a lot of positivity and self-belief,” Ankita told PTI from Singapore.
#firstwinoftheseason #winforindia #makingindiaproud #indianathlete #tennis #itf #singapore #sportsauthorityofgujarat #yonex #ongc #jaihind?? #ankitaraina_official #ankitaraina pic.twitter.com/DxU2nCYPUL
— Ankita Raina (@ankita_champ) January 21, 2019
“This tournament, even though it was 25,000 event, was a tough competition as all the qualifying players from Melbourne were here and also the last (in the entry) was 250th ranked. I played seeded players from the second round itself and saw a lot of things that I was working on with my coach (Hemant Bendre) a few days ago. There were a few things that I needed to work on mentally which I am happy I could work with my coach as he was around before the tournament. He eventually left after the first round match due to other commitments back home.”
“Also the things I am working for the last six months are paying off. In fact, we were working on it in the Australian open and will continue,” she added.
This is Ankita Raina’s fourth title at the USD 25,000 level and the others were at the USD 10,000 level. Last year she won two titles at Gwalior (25,000) and Nonthaburi (25,000)
She is the winner of the bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia in the singles event. She has won 7 singles and 14 doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit.
Ankita is to play two more tournaments before the Fed Cup, starting in the first week of February at Astana, Kazakhstan. Playing for India at the Fed Cup, Raina has a win-loss record of 15–12.
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