Ankita Raina hustles to win the French Open Qualifying opener
India number one Ankita Raina progressed to the second round of the French Open qualifiers with a hard-fought win over Serbia’s Jovana Jovic on Tuesday.
In a marathon two-hour 47 minute contest, Raina prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 against the Serbian. The 27-year-old Indian won 106 points to 100 of her rival. It was first meeting between the two players since 2014 when Raina had lost to Jovic in Anning on clay courts.
Raina will next take on Japan’s Kurumi Nara, seeded 22nd.
“Last two years here at Roland Garros I played well but didn’t win the match. But this time, it is opposite. It wasn’t my best match but I fought and managed to pull off,” Raina told PTI.
“She had good variation in the game like slice, drops and lobs so that way but her strokes couldn’t hurt me. I could have closed it in two sets. In all the three sets I played attacking tennis and hit lot of drive volleys.”
After winning the first set, Raina missed an opportunity of breaking her rival’s service in the second set at 3-3. Jovic then rallied to force a decider.
“In the third set I was up 3-1 by breaking her serve. Few mistakes on my strokes and I was broken and it was 3-3. At 4-4 I held my nerves and held my service game. At 5-4 I broke my opponent’s serve to win the match,” she said.
World rank 176, Raina needs to win two more matches to make it to the main draw of French Open 2020.
Gunneswaran to play his round two tie against Aussie Vukic today
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, the second highest ranked Indian on the ATP Tour, is scheduled to battle it out against Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic in their second round clash at the French Open Qualifying event today.
Seeded 29th in the Qualifiers, Gunneswaran aims to make it to the main draw of the third Grand Slam of 2020 after having to endure a heartbreaking missed opportunity to play the recently concluded US Open. Gunneswaran had travelled to New York as alternate but due to Covid-19 bio-bubble rules was unable to make the main draw at the US Open.
In the previous season, Gunneswaran played the main draw of all four Grand Slams.