Ankita Raina, the highest ranked Indian women's tennis player in singles (World No 181) and doubles (115), is set to take on ninth-seeded Caty McNally from the United States in the Adelaide International qualifying on Sunday.
Raina will hope to carry some confidence into the event after she won the biggest title of her career on Friday. Raina, in the company of Russia's Kamila Rakhimova, won the doubles event at the Phillip Island WTA 250 event.
The Indian's opponent in the Adelaide International qualifying -- McNally -- is currently ranked 42 in singles and 113 in doubles. The 19-year-old holds a record of 64.2% win the singles category. In the doubles, she also reached the Australian Open quarterfinals in 2020 and 2021. Besides that, the teenager has two singles titles and five doubles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit.
Post the Covid-19 break, Raina has been in a good run of form. She won the ITF Doubles title at the 2020 Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge held in Dubai, partnering Ekaterine Gorgodoze. The win in UAE propelled her to a career-best ranking of 117 in doubles.
She carried her rich vein of form in the new year as well. She was one of the 12 lucky losers to go to Melbourne after crashing out in the final qualifying round of the Australian Open.
Though Raina missed the cut in singles, she made her Grand Slam main draw debut in doubles. Raina became only the fourth Indian woman after Nirupama Mankad, Nirupama Sanjeev and Sania Mirza to feature at a major.
Bopanna's Singapore singles surprise
Meanwhile, Sumit Nagal lost in the qualifiers at the Cordoba Open while veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who made an appearance in singles after more than four years, lost the Singapore Tennis Open qualifying.
Nagal lost 4-6, 6-2, 3-6 to Argentine Facundo Diaz Acosta in the qualifiers at Cordoba.
Bopanna, who is unranked in singles, played the first round of qualifiers in Singapore. The 40-year-old lost to third-seeded Christopher Eubanks from the United States 3-6, 4-6 in straight sets.
"I signed in the alternate list, since no one showed up I got in. Any player with 1 singles point also would have been higher than me, since no one showed up they take the doubles ranking of who signed," Bopanna told Olympic Channel.
Eubanks is ranked World No.239 in the singles. He was also named a two-time All-American and twice named ACC Player of the Year.
Earlier, in the Australian Open, Bopanna was paired up with Ben McLachlan. The duo lost to Ji-sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song in the opening round.