Bengaluru, Nov 25 (IANS): Zeel Desai truly showed her zeal to come back from the brink of defeat after being a match point down against Rutuja Bhosale to set up an all-Indian final clash against reigning National champion Shrivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty in the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour.
In contrasting semifinals played at the Bowring Institute courts here on Saturday, Zeel won a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over third seeded Rutuja while Rahsmikaa stunned second seed Lanlana Tararudee of Thailand 6-2, 6-1.
The Italian-German pair of Diletta Cherubini and Antonia Schmidt came back from a set down and lifted the women’s doubles title beating the fourth seeded duo of Punnin Kovapitukted of Thailand and Anna Ureke 4-6, 7-5, 10-4. The winners took home a cheque of US$ 1437 and 50 WTA points while the runners-up pocketed US$ 719 and 30 WTA points for their effort.
Rutuja who has been battling a viral this week took to the courts against a confident Zeel. Both the players broke each other in the first two games and repeated the sequence in the 5th and 6th games before the Asian Games champion Rutuja won the next three games on the trot to win the first set 6-3.
The second set too began on a similar note but this time Rutuja achieved the break in the fourth game to go 3-1 up both exchanged breaks in the next two game. This is where Zeel stepped up on the gas and took advantage of a tiring Rutuja to win four games in a row with breaks in the 7th and 9th games.
The 27-year-old Rutuja, with her husband and coach egging her on, seemed to take control of the match with some great passing shots and racing to a 3-1 lead with a break in the 2nd game. Serving to stay in the match at 2-5 and down 30-40, Zeel made a remarkable comeback to win the game which changed the momentum of the match. Rutuja, the leaner of the two rivals, was once again serving for the match at 5-3 but committed four double faults coupled with two unforced errors and lost her serve. Zeel pounced on the opportunity and went on win the rest of the games to wrest the set at 7-5 and the match.
In the other semifinal, which was expected to be a tough battle, Rahsmikaa with her strong forehand augmented with a powerful serve made it look easy against her Thai opponent. Rahsmikaa broke her rival’s serve in the 2nd, 4th and 8th while got broken in the 3rd game. Lanlana, who had played flawless tennis through the week crumbled against the Indian while managing to hold her serve just once in the fourth game of the second set to surrender to the lanky Rashmikaa.