Mumbai : India’s Rutuja Bhosale showed sporadic glimpses of her talent, but lacked consistency and went down rather tamely to qualifier Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel in two straight games in a first-round match of the L&T Mumbai Open WTA 125K Series, at the CCI tennis courts, Churchgate on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Rutuja ranked 577, had her chances against the 23-year-old Deniz, ranked 271, who played steadil and just kept the ball in play and cashed in on the errors of the Indian to complete a 6-4, 6-3 win in an hour and 15 minutes. Rutuja’s poor serve percentage also did not help matters.
In the first set both players traded breaks in the first six games as the scores were level at 3-all before Deniz got another break in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, which she worked to her advantage. She then held her serve to extend the lead to 5-3. Rutuja, who recently returned after playing collegiate tennis in the USA, managed to finally hold serve in the ninth game, But the Israel player went on to win the 10th game to clinch the first set 6-4.
In the second Deniz raced to a 4-0 lead and then beat back a late fight back from the Indian to win the second set at 6-3 and close out the match.
Rutuja admitted that the errors cost her the match. “I had to hit back a lot of balls as she had come into the game with a defensive mindset, as that is how she normally plays. She put a lot of balls back and hence they kept getting bigger and harder which became difficult for me as the game went on. She further kept attacking my backhand as she knew my forehand was my strong suit, so in order to hit those forehands, I made many unforced errors. Hence, one thing that I’ve learnt from this tournament is that I have to improve on my strength as all the other girls here are much fitter,” the Indian said after the match.
Rutuja became the third Indian, from among the four players from the country who received wild card entries, to bow out. On Monday evening, Karman Kaur Thandi and Zeel Desai had also lost to superior opponents.
Singles: Deniz Khazaniuk (ISR) bt Rutuja Bhosale (IND) 6-4, 6-3; 2-Ana Bogdan (ROU) bt Victoria Rodrigues (MEX) 6-1, 6-1; Amandine Hesse (FRA) bt Arina Rodionova (AUS) 7-6(2), 6-3; Jia-Jing Lu (CHN) bt Dalma Galfi (HUN) 6-2, 6-2; Doubles: Julia Glushko (ISR)/Priscilla Hon (AUS) bt Hiroko Kuwata (JPN)/Prarthana Thombare (IND) 6-2, 6-3; 2-Dalila Jakupovic (SLO)/Irina Khromacheva (RUS) bt Ksenia Palkina (KGZ)/Ling Zhang (HKG) 6-2, 6-0. Junri Namigata (JPN)/Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) bt Valentyna Ivakhnenko (RUS)/Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 6-1 6-4.