Bhambri shines bright on dismal day
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As many as three seeded players had to bite the dust at the NECC-ITF women's 25,000 USD event at Deccan Gymkhana on Tuesday, while Prerna Bhambri became the lone Indian singles winner of the day.
Thai girls Nungnadda Wanasuk and Peangtarn Plipuech as well as Japan's Miyabi Inoue shot down seeded players to make it to the singles second round.
Wanasuk comfortably outplayed fifth-seed local girl Ankita Raina 6-2, 6-3. Wanasuk employed powerful ground strokes from both flanks and broke Raina in the fifth and seventh games of the first set. The Thai broke Raina, incidentally the highest ranked Indian in the event, thrice in the second set to win the contest in one hour and 22 minutes. Wanasuk will now meet Indian wild-card Snehadevi Reddy for a place in the quarter-finals.
Japanese Inoue came back from a one-set deficit to edge out seventh seed Jade Windley (Britain) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The other Thai representative Plipuech knocked out eighth-seed Denis Khazaniuk of Israel 6-4, 7-5 in a match that could have gone either way.
Delhi's Prerna Bhambri justified her wild card entry in the tournament by beating Great Britain's Emily Webley-Smith 6-2, 6-3 in just 61 minutes. Bhambri broke the British girl in the fourth and eighth games of the first set to post a commanding victory. Webley-Smith seemed to wilt under pressure, while serving to stay in the match in the eighth game of the second set, as the Indian girl got the break to enter the last 16.
Singles (1st round): Rika Fujiwara (JPN) bt Rishika Sunkara (IND) 6-1 6-1; Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO) bt Ksenia Palkina (KGZ) 7-5 6-2; Nungnadda Wannasuk (THA) bt Ankita Raina (IND)  6-2 6-3; Miyabi Inoue (JPN) bt Jade Windley (GBR) 4-6 6-4 6-4; Keren Shlomo (ISR) bt Kamonwan Buayam (THA) 6-3 6-3; Anna Shkudun (UKR) bt Janina Toljan (AUT) 3-6 6-1 7-6(4); Gioia Barbieri (ITA) bt Natasha Palha (IND) 6-2 6-1; Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) bt Deniz Khazaniuk (ISR)  6-4 7-5; Prerna Bhambri (IND) bt Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) 6-2 6-3; Kamila Kerimbayeva (KAZ) bt Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal (IND) 6-1 6-2; Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (THA) bt Melanie Klaffner (AUT) 6-7(7) 6-2 6-4.