Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tara Iyer crashes out of Sunfeast Open

Wildcard Tara Iyer crashed out of the 2007 Sunfeast Open with a 6-3, 6-1 loss to seventh seed Italy's Flavia Pennetta while Sunitha Rao and her Australian partner entered the doubles semifinals thanks to a walkover.

Iyer, ranked 354 on the WTA list, was broken five times in an hour-long match though to her credit she also broke the 69-ranked Pennetta's serve once in the first set.

Pennetta, 25, had been ranked as high as 16 in the world early last year. And the 19-year-old Iyer did give the Italian some anxious moments in the first set.

Iyer's first round defeat means that Sunitha Rao is now the only Indian left in the singles draw of the $175,000 hardcourt tournament at Kolkata's Netaji Indoor stadium.

The Florida-based Rao, ranked 211 in the world, was scheduled to play 144-ranked Briton Anne Keothavong in the second round.

In the doubles event, Rao and Australia's Monique Adamczak assured themselves of at least $2140 in prize money after securing a semifinal berth.

In the first round, the duo defeated Indian American Neha Uberoi and Poland's Marta Domachowska 6-1, 6-4 and later had the benefit of a walkover over fourth seeded Italians Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta. Errani had withdrawn after complaining of lower back pain.

But Ankita Bhambri and Rushmi Chakravarthi were humbled 6-1, 6-1 by the top-seeded duo of American Vania King and Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva. The quarterfinal opponents for King and Kudryavtseva will be Tara Iyer and Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak who had advanced earlier.

Kyra Shroff and Ashvarya Shrivastava also crashed out in the opening round, going down 6-1, 6-1 to Italy's Alberta Brianti and Ukraine's Maria Koryttseva.

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