16-year-old Karman Kaur Thandi continued her unbeaten run and defeated Hsiang-Wen Huang 6-4, 6-2 to win the WTA Future Stars Under-16 event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Monday. The event has been added this year to the gala WTA Finals by the WTA in a bid to promote tennis across the Asia-Pacific region.
Karman accelerates from 2-4 down
Karman who had been in sizzling form at the competition took time to settle into the final match. She was initially trailing her Chinese Taipei opponent 2-4 which is when she stepped up her game and won the match without any trouble. Karman who won all five of her league matches and the two knock-out contests, did not drop a set throughout the tournament. She had beaten Huang in her last league encounter.
Hitting with Li Na
It was an unforgettable learning experience for the Delhi girl as she was not only presented the trophy by the retired 2-time Grand Slam champion Li Na but also got to hit with her. As Li Na hit the ceremonial first serve of the elite WTA Finals, Thandi was the receiver at the other end. For the young Indian, it was surely a moment to treasure forever and it would definitely give a lot of inspiration to her fledgling tennis career.
Mahak Jain reached semi-finals
There was another participant from India in the WTA Future Stars competition who featured in the Under-14 category. Mahak Jain lost a thrilling contest to the eventual winner Thasaporn Naklo of Thailand in the group stage to finish second in her group. She then surrendered 3-6, 1-6 to the eventual runner-up Yuki Ando of Japan in the semi-finals.
Karman reached National Championships final
The tall, lanky Karman had been steadily making waves on the circuit and had caught everybody’s attention this year by not only making the finals of the National Championships but also taking a set off the defending champion Prerna Bhambri. She later on went on to capture the Under-18 girls singles title as well as the women’s doubles title partnering Sai Samhitha.
With two rising talents who have already got some international exposure at a young age, it definitely signals brighter days ahead for Indian women’s tennis.