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TRIPLE TOPPLE AT PUNE WTA

The Royal Indian Open witnessed a triple shocker yesterday in as the top three seeds made stunning exits in the quarter-final stage of the USD 125000 WTA event.


Big win: German wild card entrant Andrea Petkovic returns to Russian top seed Nina Bratchikova during the quarter-finals of the Royal Indian Open WTA event in Pune yesterday

Wild card entrant Andrea Petkovic stunned top seed Russian Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-2, 6-0, while fifth-seed Japanese 42-year-old veteran veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm beat second seed and compatriot Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-4, and eighth seed Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand ousted No 3 Donna Vekic.

Petkovic’s victory though was most dramatic, given the rank outsider took less than an hour to dispose off the hard-hitting No 1 seed at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here yesterday.

Petkovic set the tone early, breaking Bratchikova in the very first game of the first set. In the second game the 25-year-old then held serve for a 2-0 lead.


Russian top seed Nina Bratchikova

Bratchikova held serve this time Before Petkovic stormed through the next three games for a 5-1 lead an d consequently wrapped up Set One on her sext service game. In the second set, it was Petkovic all the way with some heavy groundstrokes and deceptive play for a 6-0 win.

Petkovic will next face seventh seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum retired after suffering from a side strain with the score reading 7-6 (3), 1-4 to give Svitolina easy passage to the last four stage.

Petkovic gave credit to Bratchikova despite the lop-sided encounter. “She was fighting really hard. Though the score reads 6-2, 6-0, it was not easy at all. I was on my toes throughout the match. Nina is a very good player. I had to be sharp and kept my intensity up,” said the former World No 9.

About her own form, the German said: “When I came into the tournament, I was out of rhythm as I had been injured for a year. Even I doubted my return to top-level tennis, but I’m glad this tournament has turned out to be good for me.”

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