Thu, 02 Oct 2003

Top-seeded Indians advance in RI tourney

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Sania Mirza of India led most of the top seeds through to the second round with an easy win over Thailand's Varanya Vijuksanabon in the US$10,000 Indonesia Women's Circuit tennis tournament here on Wednesday.

The 16-year old number one seed Mirza, who won the 2003 Junior Wimbledon girls doubles crown with Russia's Alisa Kleybanova, thumped Vijuksanabon 6-1, 6-1 at the Hilton tennis courts in Central Jakarta.

Her compatriots, second seed Rushmi Chakravarthi, third seed Isha Lakhani and sixth seed Sonal Phadke also advanced with easy wins on Wednesday.

Chakravarthi breezed past Indonesia's Mia Sacca 6-2, 6-1, Lakhani outclassed Thailand's Pichittra Thongdach 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday, while Phadke dispatched Indonesian Maya Rosa 0-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/1) on Tuesday.

However, fifth seed Liza Pereira of India failed to advance, falling victim to Thassha Vitayaroj of Thailand 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), while seventh seed Naoko Horikawa of Japan went down to Nadine Hassinger of Germany 3-6, 2-6.

Pareira and Horikawa followed the exit other seeded players Wang I-Ting of Chinese Taipei and Indonesia's Liza Andriyani, who lost to Diana Julianto of Indonesia and Yuan Meng of China respectively on Tuesday.

In the second round matches, Mirza will meet Indonesia's Novianti Warsono, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Indian Samrita Sekar 6- 2, 7-5.

Phadke will be challenged by Septi Mende, who was extended to three sets before overcoming fellow Indonesian Denise Harjanto.

The Septi-Denise game took center stage earlier in the day, with Denise surprisingly putting pressure on Septi, a member of the Indonesian Fed Cup team.

Denise displayed generally strong drives, which largely decided the first set. However, in the remaining two sets, Denise's hard shots were countered by Septi's consistent play to hand the latter a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 win in almost 150 minutes.

Septi admitted that Denise was a good opponent and she was put under pressure by Denise's style.

"She played very well. She obviously plays well on hard courts," Septi told reporters after the game.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Wukirasih Sawondari struggled in the first set against Ayu-Fani Damayanti before winning 7-6 (7/5), 6- 1.

Wukirasih said that she had not yet fully recovered from general fatigue after taking part in the Asian Tennis Championships over the weekend in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where she was defeated in the semifinals.