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Bhambri sisters crash out

March 19, 2007 20:07 IST

The formidable Bhambri sisters, Ankita and Sanaa, made premature exits from the main draw in the University of Mumbai ITF Women's US $25,000 Tennis Tournament at the Kalina Campus, in Mumbai, on Monday.

On a rewarding day for qualifiers, Amber Liu of the United States, ranked 544 in the WTA rankings, resisted a strong challenge from 530-ranked Sanaa Bhambri before fashioning a 7-6(7-5), 4-6, 6-0 victory that took her to the second round.

Unseeded Ankita, ranked 437, surged to an early 3-2 lead in the opening set against qualifier Sonal Phadke and looked set to advance to the second round. But Ankita sprained her ankle, that aggravated an earlier injury sustained during practice, and was forced to concede the tie.

Qualifier Jeong-A Cho of Korea mastered the art of beating India's lucky loser Krushmi Chheda, scoring a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 first round win. They met in the final qualifying round on Sunday where Cho beat the Indian in straight sets.

Martina Caciotti of Italy capped a memorable day for the qualifiers with a hard-fought 6-7 (1), 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over compatriot Nicole Clerico.

In contrast, India's unseeded Rushmi Chakravarthi, ranked 394, kicked-off her campaign with an easy 6-0, 6-2 win over qualifier Misa Kinoshita of Japan.

Results (final qualifying round): Jeong-A Cho (Kor) bt Krushmi Chheda (Ind) 6-2, 6-2; Rushmi Chakravarthi (Ind) bt Misa Kinoshita (Jpn) 6-0, 6-2; Wan-Ting Liu (Chn) bt Yi Chen (Tpe) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Sonal Phadke (Ind) bt Ankita Bhambri (Ind) 3-2, retd; Amber Liu (US) bt Sanaa Bhambri (Ind) 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-0; Martina Caciotti (Ita) bt Nicole Clerico (Ita) 6-7(1), 7-6(6), 6-3.