India's Ankita Raina rose to 117 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) doubles rankings after a title win at an ITF women’s tournament in Dubai on Saturday.
Raina and her partner Ekaterine Gorgodze of Georgia beat the Slovenia-Spanish pair of Kaja Juvan and Bolsova Zadoinov 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in an hour and 19 minutes in the women’s doubles final.
The ITF United Arab Emirates 01A title gave Ankita Raina enough points to climb from the 136th position to 117 in the latest WTA rankings, which will be published next week.
Ankita Raina’s career-best doubles ranking up to this point was 119, which she had achieved in March earlier this year.
In the first set, Raina and Gorgodze earned a crucial break in the fifth game to gain an advantage and it was the only opening they needed to wrap the first set in quick time.
The Indo-Georgian pair, though, twice lost serve in the second set and were only able to break their opponents once as they ended up conceding it to force a super tie-breaker.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the super tie-breaker, where neither pair were able to consistently win points.
Raina and Gorgodze, however, twice broke through their opponent to gain a two-point advantage and then served out a third-consecutive point to win the race to earn 10 points and the title.
But it was not all smooth-sailing for Ankita Raina in Dubai as she bowed out of the singles after a three-set loss in the Round of 32 to fifth-seeded Czech Katerina Siniakova.
Raina convincingly won the first set 6-1 but was unable to sustain that momentum over the rest of the match, losing the final two sets 6-2, 6-2.
However, the Indian tennis player’s doubles form is a boost ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where Raina could partner veteran Sania Mirza in the women’s doubles event.
It will be Raina’s maiden Olympic appearance if she does make the Indian team for Tokyo.