Vashi, Dec 12 (IANS) Wildcard entrants Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare kept the Indian interest alive in the doubles event as they entered the semi-finals of the $25000 Ganesh Naik ITF women’s tennis tournament here Thursday.
In the quarter-finals, the Raina-Thombare pair scored a 7-5 6-4 win over Gioia Barbieri of Italy and Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel and will take on British tandem of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith who upset second seeded Ksenia Palkina of Kyrgyzstan and Jade Windley of Britain 6-3 6-1.
Top seeds Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia and Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia scraped past Kamonwan Buayam and Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand 4-6, 7-6(4) [10-6] to set up a clash with third seeds Basak Eraydin and Melis Sezer of Turkey who scored a 2-6 7-5 [10-1] win over Japanese pair of Rika Fujiwara and Miyabi Inoue.
In the singles quarter-finals, former World No 84, 32-year-old Rika Fujiwara scored a facile 6-3, 6-0 win over Ami Amiraghyan of Armenia in a clash of qualifiers.
Fujiwara, who admits to relish Indian conditions and food, took just over an hour for her fifth win on the trot, having earlier beaten third seeded Basak Eraydin of Turkey in the second round.
In the semi-finals, Fujiwara will take on another qualifier 25-year-old Anna Smith of Great Britain. The 572-ranked Smith defeated a tired looking Thai Peangtarn Plipuech 6-4, 6-2, to also win her fifth consecutive match.
Last week’s runners-up at the Pune event, 18-year-old Kamila Kerimbayeva of Kazakhstan ousted eighth seeded Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia 6-3, 6-3 and will face top seeded Polish player Magda Linette.
Linette, seeking her second title in a row, went through a harrowing time before overcoming a fighting Chinese Hao Chen Tang in the longest match of the day 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 lasting over two hours.
The results (quarter-finals):
Singles: 1-Magda Linette (Pol) bt Hao Chen Tang ( Chn) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Kamila Kerimbayeva (Kaz) bt 8-Oksana Kalashnikova (Geo) 6-3, 6-3; Q-Rika Fujiwara (Jpn) bt Q-Ani Amiraghyan (Arm) 6-3, 6-0; Q-Anna Smith (Gbr) bt Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles: 1-Oksana Kalashikova (GEO)/Diana Marcinkevica (LAT) bt Kamonwan Buayam (THA)/Peangtarn Plipuech (THA) 4-6, 7-6(4) [10-6]; 3-Basak Eraydin (TUR)/Melis Sezer (TUR) bt Rika Fujiwara (JPN)/Miyabi Inoue (JPN) 2-6, 7-5 [10-1]; Ankita Raina (IND)/Prarthana G Thombare (IND) bt Gioia Barbieri (ITA)/Deniz Khazaniuk (ISR) 7-5, 6-4; Jocelyn Rae (GBR)/Anna Smith (GBR) bt 2-Ksenia Palkina (KGZ)/Jade Windley (GBR) 6-3, 6-1.