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Inconsistent Rutuja Bhosale loses in Rd 1 of Mumbai Open tennis

Rutuja Bhosale, the India No 5, who made a sensational debut in WTA tournaments when she reached the second round of the Royal Indian Open five years ago in Pune, came into the Mumbai Open WTA tennis tournament on the back of wins in two ITF events

tennis Updated: Nov 21, 2017 21:34 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai Open,Mumbai Open tennis tournament,WTA
Rutuja Bhosale returns to Israel’s Deniz Khazaniuk in the ffirst round of the Mumbai Open WTA tennis tournament on Tuesday.(PTI)

Rutuja Bhosale showed glimpses of her capabilities with some superb groundstrokes but lacked the consistency needed to trouble Israel’s Deniz Khazaniuk in their singles first round match of the L&T Mumbai Open WTA 125K Series event here on Tuesday.

Rutuja was erratic on her serve and a little impatient in her approach as she went down 4-6, 3-6 in an hour and 15 minutes.

“She had come with a defensive mindset. She put a lot of balls back and they kept getting bigger and harder which became difficult for me as the game went on,” said Rutuja after her loss. “She kept attacking my backhand and that increased my unforced errors. I have to improve on my strength and fitness as all the other girls here are much fitter,” she added.

Rutuja, the India No 5, who made a sensational debut in WTA tournaments when she reached the second round of the Royal Indian Open five years ago in Pune, came into the Mumbai Open on the back of wins in two ITF events – the latest at Hua Hin, Thailand, two weeks back.

After her success in the Royal Indian Open, Rutuja had taken a break from the professional circuit to pursue studies in USA, where she played the collegiate circuit, and got a wild card to play in the Mumbai Open.

Against Khazaniuk, she pushed herself into a corner early as she struggled with her service. After the players traded serves in the first six games, Rutuja lost her service again in the seventh and was staring down the barrel after her Israeli opponent held her serve to make it 5-3. Rutuja saved three set points but eventually lost the first set 4-6.

Rutuja’s struggles with her service continued in the second set as she was soon down 0-4 and though she showed a bit more consistency and patience and broke Khazaniuk’s serve in the eighth game, it was not enough.

Rutuja’s exit came after straight-set defeats suffered by fellow wild cards Karman Kaur Thandi and Zeel Desai on Monday. Ankita Raina remains the lone Indian in the singles draw. Ankita starts her campaign against Veronika Kudermetova of Russia on Wednesday.

In doubles, Prarthana Thombare and her partner Hiroko Kuwata of Japan went down 2-6, 3-6 in the first round to the Israeli-Australian combine of Julia Glushko and Priscilla Hon.

Earlier, Amandine Hesse of France caused the first upset of the tournament when defeated fourth-seeded Arina Rodionova of Australia for a 7-6(2), 6-3 in an hour and 45 minutes.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 21:34 IST