Sania Mirza topped the charts once again this week while Ramkumar Ramanathan reached another final on the ITF circuit. Here’s our weekly recap on the Indian tennis scene.
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis win eighth title of the season
The Santina Express continues to steamroll the WTA Doubles circuit by picking up yet another title – this time at the China Open in Beijing. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis picked up their fourth title in a row and their eighth title of the season as they came from behind to beat the Chan sisters – Hao-Ching and Yung-Jan – 6-7(9), 6-1, 10-8 in the final. Mirza and Hingis have won 18 matches in a row on the tour – starting at the US Open. Their last loss came at the WTA Cincinnati event, coincidentally at the hands of the Chan sisters, who have also qualified for the season-ending WTA Tour Championships.
Mirza said they were unlucky to lose the first set but as usual stayed mentally tough to win in three sets. Mirza commented after the win,
“It was a tough tie-break to lose. We could have easily mentally lost it. But we just tried to get ourselves together again. We wanted to keep it together, and really use our experience to get it back.”
The duo will now split as Hingis plays the WTA event in Tianjin while Mirza heads home before coming together again at the WTA Tour Championships in Singapore where the Indian is defending the title she won last year with Cara Black.
In doubles, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna both crashed out of the ATP China Open in Beijing with their respective partners. Paes and partner John Peers lost to fourth seeds Daniel Nestor/ Eduoard Roger-Vasselin 6-7, 6-4, 9-11 while Bopanna/ John Isner lost to Pablo Cuevas/ Viktor Troicki in straight sets.
Ramkumar Ramanathan Reaches Final in Turkey
On the ITF circuit, Ramkumar Ramanathan reached his fourth final of the season at the ITF Futures in Turkey where the top-seeded Indian was beaten by Dutchman Tim Van Rijthoven 3-6, 6-4, 4-6. The youngster is now 2-2 in ITF Finals this season.
As the top seeds in the doubles partnering with Tuna Altuna, Ramanathan reached the semi-finals where he went down to third seeds Brunner/ Miedler. Elsewhere, Kunal Anand reached the second round in Philippines and Kaza Vinayak Sharma was knocked out in the first round. Anand/ Kaza also reached the doubles semi-finals where they lost to top seeds Bourchier/ Lopez-Perez. Elsewhere teenager Sasikumar Mukund lost in the first round in Spain.
Ankita Raina Suffers Tenth Loss in a Row
On the women’s side, India No. 1 Ankita Raina suffered her tenth loss in a row on the pro circuit with a 6-1, 3-6, 1-6 loss to Peangtarn Plipuech in the firstr ound of qualifying for the WTA Hong Kong Open. Raina’s last win on the circuit came way back in July. Ashmitha Easwaramurthi was the only other Indian woman in action last week, going down in the first round of the ITF $10K event in Kazakhstan but she did manage to win one round in the doubles with partner Adriana Sosnovschi.
Sriram Balaji and Prerna Bhambri crowned National Champions
Sriram Balaji and Prerna Bhambri were crowned national champions at the Fenesta Open in New Delhi. Balaji, who played the qualifying draw to enter as he decided to enter at the last minute, beat Vishnu Vardhan 7-5, 6-3 while Bhambri defeated unseeded Sai Samhitha Chamarthi 6-0, 6-1. Meanwhile, B.R. Nikshep and Zeel Desai won the boys and girls under 18 singles titles.
Sania Mirza Continues to Reign Atop the Rankings
Sania continues to hold her lead atop the world doubles rankings, followed by Prarthana Thombare, who moves up 4 spots to No. 294 and Ankita Raina who climbs up 7 spots to No. 310. In singles, Ankita Raina climbs up 3 spots to No. 243 while Rishika Sunkara drops 2 spots to No. 525. In the men’s doubles rankings, Bopanna drops two spots to No. 13 while Paes stays put at No. 36 and Purav Raja drops 2 spots to No. 95. In singles, Yuki Bhambri climbs up 1 spot to No. 105 while Myneni stays put at No. 136.