India’s Ankita Raina beat Hungary’s Reka-Luca Jani 6-2, 6-2 in her Australian Open 2021 qualifiers first round match in Dubai on Sunday.
With the victory, the Indian women’s tennis player took one step closer to the Grand Slam main draw, which begins in Melbourne from February 8.
In the second round, the 27-year-old Ankita Raina will face Ukraine’s Katarina Zavatska, who beat Denmark’s Clara Tauson 6-3, 6-3, in her first round qualifying match.
Ankita Raina, ranked No. 180 in the world, started on the front foot against Jani, placed 206th in the WTA singles rankings.
The Indian broke her Hungarian opponent’s serve in the very first game of the first set and continued forward with the momentum to race to a 4-0 lead. Ankita eventually won the set 6-2.
The Indian won an impressive 88 per cent of her first serves in the first set, which turned out to be the difference between the two.
The second set began with both players trading breaks.
Raina broke Jani in the first and third games again but lost her serve in the second. The Indian tennis player, however, managed to hold her service in the fourth game to edge ahead by 3-1.
It was smooth sailing for Raina from there on as she wrapped up the second set 6-2 and with it, the match.
Raina, currently the top-ranked Indian women’s singles tennis player, had failed to get past her first-round tie in last year’s Australian Open qualifiers. She was beaten by Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova.
Ramkumar Ramanathan wins in men’s Australian Open qualifiers
There was good news for Indian tennis from Doha as well, where the men’s Australian Open 2021 qualifiers are being played.
Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan powered through a tough contest against Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis by a 7(8)-6(6), 7-5 scoreline to progress to the next round.
There was little to choose between the two in the first set. Ramanathan broke the Argentine in the first game but Bagnis returned the favour in the 10th game.
With the score at 6-6, a tie-breaker was needed and the Indian held his nerve to win it 8-6.
The second set, too, was neck-and-neck as neither dropped a serve in the first 11 games. But just as it seemed another tie-breaker was on offer, Ramkumar Ramanathan broke Bagnis in the crucial 12th game to win the second set 7-5.