Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty Triumphs in Epic Battle, Clinching Maiden ITF Title
By Sujoy Roy –
In a thrilling showdown at the Bowring Institute Women’s World Tennis Tour, Shrivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty emerged victorious in her first-ever ITF title, overcoming the resilient Zeel Desai with a scoreline of 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 on a picturesque Sunday.
Rashmikaa, hailing from Hyderabad, not only secured the winner’s cheque of US $3935 but also bagged a crucial 50 WTA points, a significant boost that could propel her up the WTA rankings. Zeel Desai, demonstrating unwavering determination, claimed the runner-up spot, earning US $2107 and 30 WTA points.
Reflecting on her triumph, Rashmikaa expressed her disbelief, stating, “It is still not sunk in. Probably it will by the evening.” Anticipating a tough match against Zeel, she added, “I knew Zeel is a good player, and I was prepared for a 3-setter. But after having lost the second set, I thought I already had a trophy, but by giving it all, I could win the trophy, and that is what I did.”
The match unfolded with Rashmikaa taking charge early, capitalizing on Zeel’s errors to secure a commanding 6-0 lead in the first set. However, Zeel fought back valiantly, breaking Rashmikaa’s serve in the first game of the second set. The seesaw battle saw Rashmikaa leading 3-2 before Zeel rallied to win three consecutive games, ultimately claiming the set 6-4.
With the winds playing a pivotal role, Rashmikaa strategically utilized her powerful forehand and executed brilliant cross-court shots, leaving Zeel with no answers. The final set witnessed Rashmikaa regaining her composure, establishing a 3-0 lead that proved insurmountable for Zeel, who had displayed her comeback prowess in earlier matches.
The victory marks a significant milestone for Rashmikaa, securing not only her maiden ITF title but also a notable leap in the WTA rankings. As she basked in the glory of her achievement, Rashmikaa credited her success to a combination of zero expectations, being true to herself, and implementing well-thought-out strategies from her coach, Vishal Uppal, who played a crucial role in her clay court preparations back in Hyderabad.