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Shikha stuns Hwang in ITF opener
Published on 22 Dec. 2008 11:55 PM IST
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Wildcard Shikha Uberoi got the measure of seventh seed I-Hsuan Hwang of Chinese Taipei in her opening match of the $50,000 women’s ITF at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) stadium on Monday. With her sharp serve and an all-court game, the US-based Indian beat Hwang 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and a half. Shikha, who has been practising at the DLTA courts for the past few weeks, broke Hwang in the third and fifth games, but the Taiwanese girl pulled one back, in the sixth, only to drop her serve in the next game to lose the first set. Hwang, ranked 274, looked better in the second set as she capitalised on the Indian’s lapse in concentration to jump to a 4-1 lead. But the Indian, ranked 676 on the WTA charts, soon regrouped to break back in the seventh game and consolidated the position by breaking Hwang in the ninth game before serving out the match. “I am very happy the way I played. I was very solid. Work out here for a couple of weeks has helped me, and I felt completely at home,” said an emotional Shikha who then ran to hug her sister, Neha. Shikha next meets Thailand’s Nudnida Luangnam who overcame a late resistance from Hong Kong’s Ling Zhang to beat her 6-0, 7-5. In the other singles, Sanaa Bhambri could win just a game in her 1-6, 0-6 loss to eighth-seeded Ukranian Yuliya Beygelzimer. Sanaa was ill at ease against the power and speed of Yuliya who breezed into the next round in just 52 minutes. The Ukranian will next play Sanaa’s sister Ankita Bhambri who showed the door to veteran Rushmi Chakravarthi 6-1, 6-4 in little over an hour.

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