Kyra Shroff stuns third seed in ITF women’s tennis

Kyra Shroff stuns third seed in ITF women’s tennisBangalore: Wild card Kyra Shroff of India stormed into the second round of QNet ITF Open women's tennis championship, knocking out third seed Zuzana Luknarova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3 at the KSLTA Stadium courts here Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Kyra, who has been training with the former Indian Davis Cupper Prahlad Srinath for the past one year, played a tactically brilliant game to subdue her higher ranked (261) rival.

Kyra, who had stretched the top seed to three sets in the singles first round in the $10,000 ITF tournament at Mumbai where she also finished runner-up with a Slovakian partner, played an aggressive and positive game and lured her opponent into unforced errors.

She began shakily, trailing 0-2 in the first set, but rallied superbly to break her rival in the fifth and ninth to take the set.

In the second set, Zuzana broke Kyra in the third and fifth games, but the Indian broke back in the fourth, sixth and eighth games for 5-3 and then held serve to seal the set and tie.

"I am happy with my form and it is good to beat a much higher ranked player and I have been training with Srinath for past one year which I think is paying off well. Hope to carry on with the good show," said Kyra.

Another wild card and the 18-year old local lass, Sharmada Balu almost followed Kyra into the second round, but went down to seventh seeded Korean rival Sung Hee Han who won 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5 over two hours.

Hee, who struggled with her first serve and made numerous double faults, was stretched by her gritty Indian rival who packed quite a punch in her forehand and came up with some searing serves.

Sharmada lacked consistency and a good finish, but fought back from 2-5 to win the second set in tie-break and take the match into the decider.

Sharmada had her chance to seal the match when she led 5-4 and served for the tie, but made unforced errors to drop the game. The tie then swung Hee's way and the Korean prevailed 7-5.

The fourth Indian wild card Spurthi Shivalingaiah went down to the much fancied fourth seed Andrea Koch-Benvenuto of Chile, 2-6, 4-6.

The results (singles - second round): Nungnadda Wannasuk (THA) bt Varunya Wongteanchai (THA) 7-6 (4), 6-1; Kyra Shroff (IND) bt Zuzana Luknarova (SVK) 6-3, 6-3; Jovana Jaksic (SRB) bt Michaela Frlicka(GER) 6-3, 6-2; Karen Shlomo (ISR) bt Fatma Al Nabhani (OMA) 6-4, 7-6 (5); Sung-Hee Han (KOR) bt Sharmada Balu (IND) 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5; Aleksandrina Naydenova (BUL) bt Barbara Luz (Por) 6-4, 6-2; Andrea Koch-Benvenuto (CHI) bt Spurti Shivalingaiah (IND) 6-2, 6-4.

Doubles: Tamaryn Handler (BEL) / Melanie Klaffner (AUT) bt Trang Huynh Phuong Dai (VIE) / Ai Wen Zhu (CHN) 6-2, 6-0; Tamara Curovic (SRB) / Rishika Sunkara (IND) bt Prerna Bhambri / Ashvarya Shrivastava (IND) - 6-1, 6-0; Tadeja Majeric / Anja Prislan (SLO) bt Emi Mutaguchi / Akiko Omae (JPN) 6-3, 6-2; Rushmi Chakravarthi / Ankita Raina (IND) bt Melis Sezer (Tur) / Kyra Shroff (IND) 1-6, 6-2, 10-7; Nicole Clerico (ITA) / Zuzana Luknarova (SVK) bt Nidhi Chilumula (IND) / Stephanie Scimone (ITA) 6-1, 6-1.