Jennifer Luikham beat the top seed and India No. 2 Riya Bhatia 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 with a gutsy show in the pre-quarterfinals of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis here on Thursday.
A trainee of coach Aditya Sachdeva, the 21-year-old Jennifer plays firebrand tennis, attacking the ball all the time. Together with her high levels of physical fitness and athleticism, Jennifer proved a thorn in the flesh for Riya.
Jennifer showed considerable maturity and calmness in harnessing her strength against Riya, especially in the decider to give herself a morale booster, and a reward for years of toil.
In the quarterfinals, Jennifer will play seventh seed Pia Lovric of Slovenia.
Humera Baharmus beat the sixth seed and National champion Sowjanya Bavisetti for the loss of just three games. She will challenge the fourth seed Zeel Desai.
Rutuja Bhosale was clinical in her victory over the versatile Sravya Shivani. She will play Adrienn Nagy of Hugnary who ousted Prerna Bhambri for the loss of two games.
The results: Singles: Pre-quarterfinals: Jennifer Luikham bt Riya Bhatia 6-1, 1-6, 6-3; Pia Lovric (Slo) bt Elena Jamshidi (Den) 6-1, 6-2; Zeel Desai bt Ashmitha Easwaramurthi 6-1, 6-2; Humera Baharmus bt Sowjanya Bavisetti 6-0, 6-3; Adrienn Nagy (Hun) bt Prerna Bhambri 6-2, 6-0; Rutuja Bhosale bt Sravya Shivani 6-2, 6-2; Irina Khromacheva (Rus) bt Farhat Aleen Qamar 6-0, 6-3; Miriam Bianca Bulgaru (Rou) bt Sai Samhitha 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles: Quarterfinals: Mirian Bianca Bulgaru (Rou) & Irina Khromacheva (Rus) bt Nikola Breckova & Lucie Petruzelova (Cze) 6-4, 6-4; Pia Lovric (Slo) & Adrienn Nagy (Hun) bt Sai Samhitha & Soha Sadiq 6-0, 6-1; Sowjanya Bavisetti & Prarthana Thombare bt Sharmada Balu & Prerna Bhambri 6-3, 6-4; Yubarani Banerjee & Vaidehi Chaudhar bt Jennifer Luikham & Mihika Yadav 4-6, 6-3, [10-5].