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6 Indians lose qualifiers

Source: PTI
February 11, 2006 23:00 IST
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It was a dismal day for Indians at the Bangalore Open, a US $175,000 Sony Ericsson WTA Tier-III event, all the six aspirants playing in the qualifying rounds were eliminated.

Akshita Raj, Punam Reddy, Parul Goswamy, G K Shwetha, Megha Vakharia and Sandhya Nagaraj lost in the first round of the qualifying phase at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association courts on Saturday.

Akshita lost to Shiho Hisamatsu (Japan) 1-6, 0-6; Parul lost to Kyra Nagy (Hungary) 3-6, 1-6 and Sandhya lost to Ryoko Fuda (Japan) 4-6, 0-6.

Aleksandra Wozniak (Canada) overcame a tough challenge from Punam before notching a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 victory, while Napaporn Tongsalee (Thailand) sidelined Shwetha 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

Megha, trailing 0-2 in the first set, slipped and sprained her ankle and conceded the match to Katarina Kachlikova (Slovakia).

The main draw commences on Monday.

World number 32 Sania Mirza is the defending champion and top seed. The other three Indians in the fray are Ankita Bhambri, Rushmi Chakravarthy and Isha Lakhani; all have been given wild cards.

The event has attracted 10 players in the top 100 list, including Sania.

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