Ankita Raina, Karman Thandi win $125K WTA doubles title in Taipei
They are two of the best trying to keep Indian women’s tennis in focus, around the world, in the absence of Sania Mirza who is taking care of her new baby.
Yet, it was a surprise that Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi could combine so well to strike a WTA doubles trophy which they won in the $125,000 event in Chinese Taipei on Sunday.
The unseeded Indian pair was on par at 6-3, 5-7 against fourth seeds Olga Doroshina and Natela Dzalamidze of Russia in the doubles final, when the latter retired, following an injury.
The title was worth 160 WTA points and $5,500. The runners-up collected 95 points and $2,700.
This was the best title for Indian women this season, after the $100,000 doubles title won by Prarthana Thombare in partnership with Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in Manchester.
In an impressive season in which she has won the Asian Games singles bronze, notched up commendable wins in the Fed Cup, apart from making it to the Grand Slams in Rolland Garros and Wimbledon, Ankita was thrilled with the WTA trophy.
‘’I am very happy to win the first WTA title. I have been telling coach Hemant (Bendrey) sir that I would win a WTA title this year. It is such a surprise that it has come in doubles’’, said Ankita when contacted in Taipei.
‘’Am glad that my wish has come true. To top that, it is a good felling to win the title with an Indian partner. It makes a big difference, when you can communicate with your partner in the same language’’, said Ankita, quite thrilled to take the next best step forward in her professional career.
While Ankita has won 14 doubles titles, including two in the $60,000 events apart from seven singles titles, Karman has one singles title won this year, apart from four doubles titles.
Understandably, the 25-year-old Ankita, ranked 193 in singles and 296 in doubles, was all praise for the 20-year-old Karman who has been getting better with every outing.
‘’Karman, as we all know, has the game with big serve and big strokes. We combined well’’, said Ankita.
With the $25,000 events lined up in Pune and Solapur, Ankita and Karman will get back home to push their singles ranking so as to make the cut for the Australian Open.
$125,000 WTA, Chinese Taipei
Doubles (final): Ankita Riana & Karman Kaur Thandi bt Olga Doroshina & Natela Dzalamidze (Rus) 6-3, 5-7 (retired).