Sahaja Yamalapalli Triumphs: A Majestic Win at ITF W25 Solapur Open
By Sujoy Roy:
In a dazzling display of skill and determination, Indian tennis star Sahaja Yamalapalli secured victory in the final of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament held at the MSLTA Centre, Solapur. Defying expectations as the seventh seed, Sahaja claimed her third singles title in the professional circuit with a convincing 6-4, 6-3 win over the second seed, Ekaterina Makarova.
The 23-year-old player, who had previously triumphed in Gurugram and Nagpur last year, expressed her elation at winning her third singles title on home turf. “The challenges from all my opponents fueled my passion, and I relished overcoming them. I feel more relaxed and am having a lot more fun on the court,” said Sahaja, who is currently being groomed by Rene Zondag of PBI at the Dravid-Padukone centre in Bengaluru.
Acknowledging the support received during her recent stint in the US circuit, Sahaja extended her gratitude to coach Ashley Hobson. “I am extremely thankful to both of them for helping me achieve the title this week,” she added.
In a thrilling final, Sahaja demonstrated her strategic prowess, leading 5-3 in the first set and 5-1 in the second before securing victory in straight sets. She impressively converted seven out of ten break points she forced, while her opponent, the 27-year-old Makarova, ranked 186, managed to convert only four of her ten break points.
Throughout the entire tournament, Sahaja showcased her dominance by not dropping a single set and conceding only 27 games in total to her five opponents in singles. The champion was rewarded with a prize of Rs. 3,29,605, while the runner-up, Makarova,
received Rs. 1,29,881.
Looking ahead, Sahaja Yamalapalli is set to participate in the $40,000 event in Navi Mumbai next week. She expressed her commitment to giving her best and embracing the challenges that lie ahead on the court.
Sahaja Yamalapalli’s Journey to the Title:
Round of 32: beat Smriti Bhasin 6-2, 6-2
Round of 16: beat Madhurima Sawant 6-3, 6-0
Quarterfinal: beat Hiromi Abe 6-3, 6-2
Semifinal: beat Saki Imamura 7-6 (3), 6-2
Final: beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-3
Sahaja’s triumphant victory not only adds another feather to her cap but also elevates the expectations surrounding her future performances in the world of professional tennis.