Unseeded Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia showed great character to stay in contention of winning a grand double, when she completed a come from behind victory against another unseeded player Sabina Sharipova of Uzbekistan in the singles semi-final of the L&T Mumbai Open 2017 on Centre Court at the Cricket Club of India on Saturday evening.
The 26-years Jakupovic ranked 252, dropped the first set, but bounced back in style to win the next two against the higher ranked Shripova, ranked 186, to record a satisfying 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory in an hour and 41 minutes.
Earlier, Jakupovic partnering Irina Khromacheva from Russia had booked their place in the doubles finals. The second-seeded pair of Jakupovic and Khromacheva had defeated the fourth-seeded pair of Julia Glushko from Israel and Priscilla Hon from Australia in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in a semi final encounter, which they wrapped up in a little over an hour.
They will meet the unseeded pair of Victoria Rodriguez from Mexico and Bibianne Schoofs from the Netherlands who rose to the challenge and came out trumps against Beatrice Gumulya from Indonesia and Ana Veselinovic from Montenegro in straight sets to secure their berth in the doubles final. The Mexican and Dutch duo after initial resistance managed to defeat their opponents 7-6, 6-4 in one hour and 38 minutes.
Rodriguez and Schoofs were engaged in a grim battle for supremacy with Gumulya and Veselinovic as the match went to the tie-breaker, which they won 7-2, to pocket the first set.
Having gained the momentum, Rodriguez and Schoofs looked to be in control as they went on to comfortably win the second set 6-4 to advance to the summit round.
Meanwhile, India’s Ankita Raina, a wild card entrant, put up a gallant display but went down fighting to unseeded Amandine Hesse of France in straight games 6-3, 6-4 in an exciting and well-contested singles quarter-final match, late Friday night.
Doubles (semi-finals): 2-Dalila Jakupovic (SLO)/Irina Khromacheva (RUS) bt 4-Julia Glushko (ISR)/Priscilla Hon (AUS) 6-3, 6-2;
Victoria Rodriguez (MEX)/Bibiane Schoofs (NED) bt Q-Beatrice Gumulya (INA)/Ana Veselinovic (MNE) 7-6(2), 6-4).
Singles – Semi-final: Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) bt Sabina Sharipova (UZB) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Quarter-finals: Amandine Hesse (FRA) bt WC-Ankita Raina (IND) 6-3, 7-6(4).