ITF Tennis: Prerna Bhambri in last 8

Pune, Dec 4 : Prerna Bhambri kept the Indian flag flying by making it to the singles quarter-finals of the NECC-ITF women's $25,000 event at the Deccan Gymkhana here Wednesday while qualifiers Rika Fujiwara from Japan and Israel's Keren Shlomo also made it to the last eight.

On a day when three out of four Indians in singles action were sent packing, Delhi girl Bhambri played some flawless tennis against an erratic Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand while winning 6-4, 6-0.

Plipuech's only glory came in the fifth game of the first set when she broke Bhambri who promptly broke back and then again in the 10th to win the set 6-4.

The second set was one-sided as Bhambri didn't drop a single game on her way to a quarter-final clash against Kazakhstan's Kamila Kerimbayeva.

Japan's Fujiwara, champion in this event in 2009, had a easy day as her sixth seed opponent, Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia, conceded the match trailing 0-3 in the first set due to a wrist injury and Shlomo continued her good run with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Japan's Miyabi Inoue.

Mumbai girl Snehadevi Reddy had no answer to the power of Thailand's Nungnadda Wanasuk, losing 1-6, 0-6. Sowjanya Bavisetti, another qualifier who had made it to the second round, was outplayed 6-2, 6-2 by top seed Magda Linette.

Sharmada Balu, another Indian qualifier, was defeated by third seed Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia 6-4, 6-0.

Balu-Bavisetti ended the day on a better note though, as they paired up to beat fourth seeds Tamara Curovic/Diana Marcinkevica 6-7 (1), 6-3, 10-8 in the doubles quarter-finals.

The results:

Singles (Second Round): 1-Magda Linette (Pol) bt Sowjanya Bavisetti (Ind) 6-2 6-2; Q-Rika Fujiwara (Jpn) bt 6-Oksana Kalashnikova (Geo) 3-0 Retd; 3-Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) bt Q-Sharmada Balu (Ind) 6-4 6-0; Nungnadda Wannasuk (Tha) bt Q-Snehadevi S Reddy (Ind) 6-1 6-0; Q-Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Miyabi Inoue (Jpn) 6-3 6-2; 4-Gioia Barbieri (Ita) bt Anna Shkudun (Ukr) 6-3 6-2; Prerna Bhambri (Ind) bt Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) 6-4 6-0; Kamila Kerimbayeva (Kaz) bt Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (Tha) 5-7 7-5 6-0.

Doubles (Quarterfinals): Jocelyn Rae (Gbr) / Anna Smith (Gbr) w/o 1-Oksana Kalashnikova (Geo) / Magda Linette (Pol); Sharmada Balu (Ind) / Sowjanya Bavisetti (Ind) bt 4-Tamara Curovic (Srb) / Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) 6-7(1) 6-3 (10-8); 3-Ksenia Palkina (Kgz) / Jade Windley (Gbr) bt Rika Fujiwara (Jpn) / Miyabi Inoue (Jpn) 6-4 3-6 (10-6); 2-Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (Tha) / Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) bt Nungnadda Wannasuk (Tha) / Emily Webley-Smith (Gbr) 6-7(7) 6-0 (10-7).

--IANS (Posted on 04-12-2013)

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