Impressive Nirupama advances in Pune ITF


Pune: Wild card Nirupama Sanjeev made a dream comeback to professional tennis after nearly six years by scoring an impressive 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Serbian qualifier Tamara Curovic to enter the second round of the $50,000 NECC-ITF Women’s Tennis championships here Tuesday.

Support TwoCircles

Nirupama will now take on top seed and 111-ranked Tamarine Tanasugarn who bettered Rushmi Chakravarthi 6-2, 6-0 in 54 minutes.

Amongst other Indians in action, Poojashree Venkatesha and lucky loser Sheethal Goutham also made it to the last 16 of the event.

Pojashree outplayed wildcard Rashmi Teltumbde 6-2, 6-3, while Sheetal scraped past qualifier Shivika Burman 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-4.

In the best match of the day, Nirupama played consistent tennis to outplay the tall and lanky Curovic in 81 minutes.

“I’m happy to have made a comeback with a win and justified the organisers awarding me a wild card,” said Nirupama. “I was tired after the first set, but my opponent’s toilet break after the first set helped me to recover and finish off.”

Nirupama led 5-4 having broken Curovic in the third game, but was broken back by Curovic in the tenth to level scores. Curovic then led 6-5, but Nirupama played some solid backhands and served consistently to hold on to her serve and force a tiebreak.

The 34-year old Nirupama proved too wily for the young Curovic in the tiebreak.

A shattered Curovic surrendered a 2-0 lead in the second set as Nirupama broke back in the fourth game to restore parity and again in the eighth to win the set and the match.

The 420th-ranked Nudnida Luangnam of Thailand scored a 7-5, 1-6, 5-0 (retd) win over fourth seed and 193rd ranked Ksenia Palkina of Krgyzstan.

The results:

First round: Tamarine Tanasugarn (Tha) bt Rushmi Chakravarthi 6-2, 6-0; Nirupama Sanjeev bt Tamara Curovic ( Srb) 7-6 (5),6-3; Noppawan Lertcheewakarn( Tha) bt Ganna Piven(Ukr) 7-6 (3),6-3; Nina Bratchikova (Rus) bt Prerna Bhambri 6-4, 6-3; Nudnida Luangnam( tha) bt Ksenia Palkina 7-5, 1-6, 5-0 (retd); Varatchaya Wongteanchai ( Tha) bt Shweta Kumari Solanki 6-2,6-3; Shiho Hisamatsu (Jpn) bt Keren Shlomo ( Isr) 6-2,2-6,7-5; Anastasiya Vasylyeva (Ukr) bt Nicole Clerico( Ita) 6-3,6-2; Poojashree Venkatesha bt Rashmi Teltumbde 6-2,6-3; Bojana Jovanovski(Srb) bt Rishika Sunkara 6-4,7-5; Sheethal Goutham bt Shivika Burman 7-6 (2),2-6,6-4; Chen Astrogo( Isr) bt Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) 6-2,4-6,6-1; Sabina Sharipova(Uzb) bt Magali de Lattre(Por) 6-4,6-3.