Australian Open Qualifiers

Ankita Raina in final round, Ramkumar out

Ankita Raina in final round, Ramkumar out

Ankita Raina beat Katarina Zavatska 6-2 2-6 6-3. File

Melbourne, January 12

India’s top-ranked woman player Ankita Raina moved to the final round of the Australian Open Qualifiers with a gutsy three-set win over world No. 118 Katarina Zavatska but it was curtains for Ramkumar Ramanathan in the men’s singles.

In the women’s singles qualifiers being held in Dubai, the 180th-ranked Ankita overcame a second-set lapse to win 6-2 2-6 6-3 in the second round against the Ukrainian. Ankita said she was proud of the fight in the match that lasted two hours and 20 minutes.

“I started well in the first set and the first two games of the second set. Then the third game was kind of crucial because she won that game and got confident and played more balls back but I’m glad I could shift the momentum back,” Ankita told PTI. “I started being more aggressive and sticking to my game. Struggled a bit with the serve in the beginning but later was a bit better. It was a little windy in the later half of the match but I’m proud the way I fought,” she added.

Ankita will next take on 20-year-old Serbian Olga Danilovic, ranked 183. It will be the first meeting between the two players.

It is Ankita’s sixth attempt to crack the singles main draw of a Grand Slam and she is now just one win away from creating history. Only Nirupama Vaidyanathan and Sania Mirza have competed in the women’s singles main draw of a Grand Slam from India till date.

In the men’s singles being held in Doha, Ramkumar lost his second round 3-6 2-6 to Chinese Taipei’s Tung-Lin Wu in 69 minutes. — PTI

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