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Aurangabad Open: Prerna, Pranjala oust seeded rivals to enter next round


Aurangabad :National champion Prerna Bhambri created the biggest upset of the day, putting out third seed Ayaka Okuno of Japan, to enter the singles second round in the USD 25,000 Endurance Aurangabad Open Women’s ITF Tennis Championship.

Joining her in round two was compatriot Pranjala Yadlapalli, a qualifier, who upset fourth seed Melanie Klaffner of Austria in the first round.

Also through were three other Indians – fifth seed Ankita Raina, Rishika Sunkara and Snehadevi Reddy.

Delhi girl Prerna, who made it to the second round at this level after nearly two years, defeated 289th-ranked Ayaka Okuno, ranked 125 places above her, 6-3 3-6 6-4 after a hard-fought battle lasting two and a half hours.

Junior Pranjala played well against Melanie before the Austrian girl retired in the third set. Melanie won the first set 7-6 (5) before Pranjala drew level by winning the second 6-3. In the decider Pranjala led 3-1 when Melanie conceded.

In other matches, Ankita outplayed qualifier Amrita Mukherjee 6-3 6-2, SnehaDevi got past Natasha Palha 6-2 6-2 and Rishika surged to a 6-1 6-2 win over wild card Rashmi Teltumbde to make it to the round of sixteen.

The second round will feature seven Indians with at least three of those guaranteed a place in the quarter finals as Ankita is pitted against Snehadevi, Prerna will be up against Dhruti Venugopal and Rishika is to clash with Pranjala.

Riya Bhatia, the other Indian still in the fray, will clash with Lou Brouleau of France.

The results: Singles (1st round): Valeriya Strakhova (Ukr) [1] bt Melis Sezer (Tur) 6-1 6-3; Rishika Sunkara bt Rashmi Teltumbde 6-1 6-2; Nudnida Luangnam (Tha) [6] bt Miki Miyamura (Jpn) 6-4 6-4; Ching-Wen Hsu [8] bt Sowjanya Bavisetti 6-2 4-6 6-2; Margarita Lazareva (Rus) bt Nidhi Chilumula 7-6(6) 6-2; Pranjala Yadlapalli bt Melanie Kalffner [4] (Aut) 6-7(5) 6-2 3-1(Retd); Ankita Raina [5] bt Amrita Mukherjee 6-3 6-2; Snehadevi S Reddy bt Natasha Palha 6-2 6-2;
Nicha Lertitaksinchai (Tha) bt Kamila Kerimbayeva (Kaz) 7-5 6-3; Prerna Bhambri bt Ayaka Okuno (Jpn) [3] 6-3 3-6 6-4; Ekaterina Yashina (Rus) bt Soha Sadiq 6-3 6-3; Lou Brouleau(Fra) (7] bt Nungnadda Wannasuk (Tha) 6-4 6-0; Tadeja Majeric (Slo) [2] bt Prarthana G Thombare 6-1 6-2.


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