For tennis sensation Karman Kaur Thandi, short is not so sweet

Nov 01, 2018, 08:26 IST | Ronald Chettiar

India's rising tennis ace Karman Kaur Thandi says failure to put away short balls led to first round defeat against China's Saisai Zheng in the Mumbai Open at CCI

For tennis sensation Karman Kaur Thandi, short is not so sweet
India's Karman Thandi during her match against China''s Saisai Zheng at the Cricket Club of India yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

India's upcoming tennis star Karman Kaur Thandi displayed glimpses of her talent, but it was not enough in the end as she suffered a first round exit in the L&T Mumbai Open tennis tournament at the Cricket Club of India, Churchgate yesterday.

Karman, 20, who was awarded a wildcard for this WTA $125K Series event, lost 2-6, 4-6 to China's World No. 47 and top seed here, Saisai Zheng. Despite a good start and a late fightback, too many unforced errors cost the 215 ranked Indian a chance to better her previous show here. Last year, Karman had lost in the opening round to the eventual runner-up, Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic by a similar scoreline.

Saisai Zheng
Saisai Zheng

Karman rued conceding the advantage in the first set after beginning well. "I got off to a good start. I was getting my serves right and was 30-0 up in the third game but unfortunately, I lost that game and thereafter Saisai began to dominate. Had I won that game, the pressure would have been on her and it might have been a different story. I missed out on a lot of short balls," said Karman, who lost 10 consecutive games after being 2-0 up in the first set.

Thandi fights back
She however, showed a glimpse of her powerful ground strokes as she saved three match points to fight back to 4-5 after trailing 1-5 in the second set. But her brief resurgence went in vain as Saisai upped her game to finish the match in the 10th game.

A better show
However, Karman, who had lost to Saisai 4-6, 0-6 at a WTA tournament at China in July this year, felt she gave a better account of herself this time. "Overall, it was a much better performance than my last match against her. I don't think she was able to play like she did in Nanchang. This time, I made her move a lot sideways and kept returning everything she threw at me." Meanwhile, Saisai, had some words of advice for the lanky Indian. "Karman is tall. She should make use of her height and not play defensively. She should try to hit more winners. That should be her style. Running is not her strength," said the Chinese ace.

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