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Pune Open Women’s championship: Slovenian Zidansek outplays Russia’s Melnikova to enter semis

On Thursday, at the Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi, Zidansek displayed great performance to outplay Marina Melnikova of Russia 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 in a 1 hour and 45 minutes battle to enter the semi-final

pune Updated: Nov 30, 2018 15:02 IST
Jigar Hindocha
Jigar Hindocha
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Pune Open Women’s championship,Tamara Zidansek
Tamara Zidansek (foreground) in action during the BVG Pune Open ITF women’s championships at Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex Balewadi on Thursday.(HT PHOTO)

Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, who is ranked no 86 on the women’s tennis association (WTA) list, is back in Pune after two years and is having a good time at the BVG Pune Open ITF $25k women’s championship. “I had came to Pune two years ago, but the matches were played on different courts (Deccan Gymkhana courts) and I had won the title,” said Zidansek.

On Thursday, at the Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi, Zidansek displayed great performance to outplay Marina Melnikova of Russia 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 in a 1 hour and 45 minutes battle to enter the semi-final.

Zidansek who has won 16 international tennis federation (ITF) singles title so far started by winning the first two points in the first set. Opponent Melnikova made it 2-all by breaking Zidansek in the third and holding her serve in the fourth game.

From there onwards, momentum of the match shifted towards 342 ranked Melnikova as she broke Zidansek in the fifth and seventh game to take the first set 6-3. The match swung back in favour of Zidansek in the second set as she wrapped it up 6-0 in 22 minutes.

“It was a long match. The conditions here are tough and I am coming back to the courts after a break of two months, so it is taking a little time to get used to the conditions,” explained Zidansek. In the third set, Zidansek got a tough fight from opponent Melnikova before the Slovenia-based player wrapped up the match, winning it 6-3.

“I think I need to be more consistent and should be careful about placements of the ball in the coming matches,” said Zidansek, who will meet Guerrero Alvarez of Spain in the semi-final who defeated Jaqueline Adina Cristian of Romania 6-2, 6-2.

Zidansek was all praise for players who are yet to break in the top 100 rankings. “The girls who are coming are really great and ranking does not matter, even the player who is ranked 500 is tough to beat. It feels very good to be in top 100 right now. There were also days when I was ranked 300 or 200,” added Zidansek, who also rated Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi as top quality tennis players

Melnikova was happy the way the tournament progressed, but she was disappointed with the quarter-final results. “It was a good tournament for me, matches were tough. I am happy, but if I had won this match then it could have been much more satisfactory.”

Turning point

After going down in the first set, Tamara Zidansek played her ace game in the second set to win it 6-0 in just 22 minutes. From there onwards, Zidansek controlled the proceedings of the match.

Top two Indian players to clash in second semi-final

Second seeded Ankita Raina defeated Chinese Kai-Lin Zhang 6-0, 6-0 in a one sided match in 53 minutes, while Karman Kaur Thandi played out a tough first set to get past Ukrainian Valeriya Strakhova 7-6 (11-9), 6-2 in a match that lasted an hour and 54 minutes.

The duo also made it to the doubles final where they will face Aleksandrina Naydenova and Tamara Zidansek.

Top seeded pair of Raina and Thandi easily accounted for Amina Anshba of Russia and Poland’s Paula Kania 6-3, 6-3. While Bulgarian Aleksandrina Naydenova and Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia posted a 6-1, 6-4 win over Canadian Sharon Fichman and Poland’s Katarzyna Piter.

First Published: Nov 30, 2018 14:58 IST