India’s challenge through the qualifying rounds at the Chennai Open 2022 WTA 250 tennis tournament ended early after all five Indian women’s players lost in the opening round of the qualifiers at the SDAT Stadium on Saturday.
The Indian tennis players competing in the qualifiers needed to win two straight rounds to secure one of six qualifying spots in the 32-player main draw.
Upcoming Indian tennis player Lakshmi Prabha Arunkumar put up a strong show against the qualifiers’ first seed Yuki Naito of Japan in the first set. However, the 16-year-old Indian could not handle the serves in the second set to lose the match 6-4, 6-1 on the hard court.
India No. 3 Rutuja Bhosale was outclassed by Chinese Taipei's En-Shuo Liang. Rutuja Bhosale converted only three of the nine breakpoint opportunities to go down 6-3, 6-2.
The other three Indians in the fray - Sai Chamarthi, Riya Bhatia and Sowjanya Bavisetti - also went down in straight sets.
Sai Chamarthi took a game in the first set against second-seeded qualifier Nao Hibino of Japan but was served a bagel in the second set to lose 6-1, 6-0.
India No. 4 Riya Bhatia and No. 5 Sowjanya Bavisetti, meanwhile, lost to Lithuania’s Justina Mikulskyte and Japan’s Kyoka Okamura, respectively, with identical 6-4, 6-0 margins.
The top two Indian women’s singles tennis players Ankita Raina and Karman Thandi will begin in the main round which starts on Monday.
Ankita Raina will take on fourth seed Tatjana Maria of Germany while Karman Thandi will be up against eighth seed Chloe Paquet of France. Both Indian players are unseeded at the WTA 250 tournament.