WTA Chennai Open: Indian wild card Thandi pulls off upset win | Tennis News

CHENNAI: Karman Kaur Thandi illuminated on the opening day of Open WTA Chennai at SDAT stadium here when she beat the 8th seed Chloe Package in three sets 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a meeting that lasted 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Karman, a wild card for this tournament, displayed a never-say-die attitude throughout the contest. Despite losing in the first set 6-4, the 24-year-old from Delhi showed his will to fight. The turning point of the match came in the 7th game of the second set when she broke her French opponent to go 4-3 in this set. She held her serve in the next match and then won the set in the 10th game of the second set.
Once the contest reached the decider, it was Paquet who got the break early and led the set 2-0. However, Karman once again showed his courage not only to smash his opponent in the third game but also to hold serve in the fourth. From then on, it was Karman all the way. Karman was a completely different player in game five of the third set as she sealed the deal 6-3.
She landed her forehands and hit the lines at the right time, which helped her earn the biggest win of her career. “This win means a lot,” she said after the game. “It was a mental battle and I’m glad I was able to get through it,” Thandi said.
While the second half of the evening belonged to the 24-year-old from Delhi, the Canadian idol Eugenie Bouchard gave the event the much-needed boost by winning the first game of the day 7-6(4), 6-2 against Joanne Zuger. The encounter saw the 28-year-old Canadian tested in the first set by her opponent from Switzerland. But once she won the first set in a tiebreaker, Genie found her rhythm to finally seal the deal in 1 hour and 44 minutes.
Genie, a wildcard in this tournament is on his way back after injuring his shoulder in 2021, had a tricky first set. She was defeated by Zuger in her very first match. However, the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up beat Zuger in the next match and quickly took a 4-1 lead. Zuger stayed in that set winning the next three games as the first set read at 4-4.
The first set reached the tie-break where it was Eugenie who raised her game in critical situations to wrap things up 7-4. The second set saw Eugenie dictate her terms against her 21-year-old opponent and earned the well-deserved break in game 5 to go up 3-2. She held serve in the 6th game and once again beat Zuger in the 7th to take a solid 5-2 lead. Contrary to the first set where she gave her advantage to her opponent, Genie was more clinical and closed the match at 6-2.
Genie admitted she wasn’t at her best during the clash. “I tried to stay focused and fight. It took time to get rid of the rust. I think it will take me time to get back into shape. At first I was disappointed not to be up there. I’m always looking for consistency. It’s a work in progress,” the Canadian said. It was Genie’s first main draw victory at the WTA Tour level since the Abierto Zapopan tournament in Mexico. last year where she finished second. During that tournament, Bouchard suffered a shoulder injury which forced her out of the sport for about 17 months. She returned to competition before the US Open but didn’t make it past qualifying. Bouchard said staying away from tennis for so long was frustrating. “The break from tennis really tested my patience. It was a long process and I had never done these things before. But I never wanted to stop. This is just the start of my comeback and I hope to have more years on the Tour,” she said.
Genie felt she handled wet conditions well. “I arrived here a little early for the tournament because I was afraid of jet lag. It’s very humid here and I usually sweat a lot. Managing the conditions is the biggest challenge. I live and train in Florida, so I’m used to humidity. but Chennai weather is something else. I needed seven towels and had to keep them in different corners of the pitch. I also changed a few sweatbands,” a- she declared.

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