Sunitha Rao progressed to the second round of qualifiers at the WTA Bangalore Open even as the other three wildcards - Rushmi Chakravarthy, and the Bhambri sisters Ankita and Sanna - bowed out in Bangalore on Saturday evening.
Sunitha, a Florida-based US citizen ranked 181 in the world with three wins and five loses under her belt on the WTA Tour, played brilliantly making good use of her flowing forehands to progress to the next stage with a 6-4 2-6 7-5 win over Russian eighth seed Manasieva Vesna.
Claiming the first set 6-4 against the fighting Russian, Sunitha lost the second 2-6 but exerted every sinew to claimed the last two games of the third after being on level terms at 5-5.
Sunitha will now takeon Junri Namigata of Japan in the second round tomorrow. Junri had little difficulty in beating Rushmi Chakravarthy 6-2 6-1.
Sanaa Bhambri, ranked 576 in the world with a win-loss record 71-51 on the Tour, was the first to march out after losing to hard-hitting Australian Adamczak Monique 3-6 7-6 1-6, while Delhi's Ankita Bhambri (ranked 545 with 133-71 as win-loss ratio) went down tamely 2-6 1-6to Woerle Kathrin of Germany.
Little known Indian, Akshitha Basavaraju of Bangalore was quickly disposed of by China's Sun Tiantian 6-1 6-0.
Florida-based American Neha Uberoi lost to Romanian Monica Niculescu 4-6 2-6.
Meanwhile, South Melanie of England put paid to the aspirations of top seeded Ayumi Morita of Japan 4-6 6-0 6-0.