While Pranjala lost out after almost winning the game against Kumkhum, Karman faced a crushing defeat in straight sets
It was a disappointing evening for India as two of its four prodigies were ousted in the Mumbai Open’s women’s singles round of 32 matches. Karman Thandi, India No. 2, was subdued by top-seeded Chinese Saisai Zheng in the first round at the Cricket Club.
Karman began the match with a breathtaking performance, winning 10 points on the trot. She took a 2-0 lead in the process. But that was the best performance of the contest, as she was tamed quite comfortably by her Chinese opponent. The result was an expected one, considering Zheng is ranked way above the Indian (who is ranked 215) in the world.
What was surprising, however, was the manner in which Karman exited the competition. She went on to lose 10 games in a row, as she lost the first round 6-2 and was on the verge of losing the second. Her frequent errors were what let the India No.2 down, as Zheng was too good to miss the gifted opportunities.
Even though Thandi did put up a late challenge, it was probably too late. The match ended at 6-2 6-4. This was Karman’s consecutive loss in the competition. She had lost at the exact same stage last year as well.
Pranjala makes fifth seed Luksika sweat in a spirited display
India’s WTA debutant Pranjala Yadlapalli was impressive in the opening round as she almost beat Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum, the fifth seed. However, she had to settle for a 6-3, 5-7, 1-6. In fact, in the second round, the 19-year-old was just 2 points away from winning the match in what would have been the upset of the competition. Pranjala started the first round robustly, clinching points at will, and forcing her opponent into committing errors. She used her pace to much better use, and by break, she had won the first round by 6-3.
Pranjala continued her dominance into the second round. At a stage in the match, she was serving the Thai player with a lead 5-3 and was just two points away from sealing the match. However, Kumkhum soon got into getting elements and the veteran tennis player made a quick come back. The match ended at 5-7, with Kumkhum clinching 5 games in a row. Experience is probably what the teenager lacked, and what her Asian counterpart had aplenty.
The last round was a pretty one-sided affair, with Kumkhum in control of everything. She won the set and the match by a comfortable 1-6 margin. Even though Yadlapalli would be disappointed by the results, the India No. 3 would be returning home with a positive experience.
Elsewhere, Ankita Raina defeated fellow countrywoman Rutuja Bhosale in a thrilling all-India 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 contest. She will now face Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic.
— Ankita Raina (@ankita_champ) October 27, 2018