GULBARGA, INDIA: The first ever women’s tournament on the ITF Pro Circuit to be held in the Indian city saw the home nation triumph with victory for the unseeded Prerna Bhambri.
The 20-year old secured her first singles title since winning in New Delhi in 2011 with a 62 62 defeat of Chinese number four seed Zi Yang. The pair spent over an hour on court but the seeded player struggled to get into the match.
Yang’s struggle was all the more surprising given she had won her last three sets played 60 which included a semifinal win over the top seed, in fact, coming into the final Yang had lost just seven games in eight sets of tennis, including five sets without loss of a single game.
Whilst the Indian Fed Cup player displayed a fine all court play with a cool temperament, her rival saw her game littered with unforced errors and a double fault whilst trailing 5-2 handed the first set to Bhambri.
With Bhambri moving into a 3-0 lead in the second set, holding her own serve twice, five breaks of serve followed and the title was Bhambri’s.
Following the match, Bhambri said: “I thank the organizers KSLTA for the wonderful tournament & people of Gulbarga who came in such huge numbers which was very encouraging for me. It was a good day for me today and I had decided to [play] my best game as I had nothing to lose. Zi Yang played well and pushed me to play better. Overall, this week at Gulbarga has been lucky for me.”
The doubles title was won by third seeds Hae-Sung Kim and Ju-Eun Kim. The Koreans, who had been in impressive form all week, beat the unseeded pairing from Chinese Taipei, Pei-Chi Lee and Chia Hsien Yang, 61 61.