Millennium Post

Karman cracks top-200, only sixth Indian woman tennis player to do so

New Delhi: Karman Kaur Thandi on Monday became only the sixth Indian woman tennis player to crack the top-200 rankings in singles, jumping 32 places in the WTA chart.

Karman is now ranked exactly 200 in the WTA list.

The 20-year-old Delhi girl, backed by Mahesh Bhupathi, has been in good form in the past few weeks, winning her maiden ITF singles title in Hong Kong and making the semi-finals in two others in China.

In April, the country's top singles player Ankita Raina had broken into the top-200 and is now ranked 195 (-4).

Before these two girls, Sania Mirza, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao had made it to the top-200.

While Sania, winner of six Grand Slam titles in doubles, touched a career-high of 27 in singles in 2007, Nirupama's best rank was 134 in 1997.

Shikha's highest ranking was 122 and Sunita reached 144. Both these players were US citizens even though they represented India on tour.

"I am happy to climb to top-200. Step by step, I will try to reach my goal of getting into top-150 by the year-end," Karman, who celebrated the moment by indulging in some shopping, told PTI.

In her last three tournaments, Karman won her maiden ITF singles title in Hong Kong and reached semi-final in two others in China.

Karman Kaur Thandi defeated top seed Jia-Jing Lu in straight sets in the final of the ITF Hong Kong 02A tennis tournament.

Thandi, who won her maiden singles title on the ITF Pro circuit, defeated her Chinese opponent 6-1, 6-2 in the summit clash of the $25,000 event.

Ranked 261st in the WTA rankings, Thandi did not drop a single set during her campaign at this tournament.

The 20-year-old Thandi had previously won three doubles titles on the ITF circuit.

Asked if she played differently to get consistency, Karman said:"The matches I played before were tight ones and they could have gone either way. I lost those matches but learnt from them."

"In the matches, I played recently, I kept my intensity on every point and stepping it up both mentally and and game wise. I stayed solid with my game both physically and mentally."

Karman has been training in Delhi for the past one year with Aditya Sachdeva having worked at Mouratoglou Academy in Nice, France under renowned Patrick Mouratoglou.

Karman said she benefitted a lot while training in Nice where she use to hit with top French player Alize Cornet.

"I got to know my body better there and I picked up a lot of things, both fitness and game. Adi sir knows my game inside out so he can also fix whatever wrong is there. So, my game is mixture of methods of both the coaches," Karman said.

The Delhi girl is now targetting a good show at the Asian Games, where she will compete in singles along with Ankita Raina.

Commenting on the development, Bhupathi told PTI,"It is a stepping stone. She works very hard and it's good to see her moving in the right direction."

Rutuja Bhosale was the next best Indian at number 388, a gain of 11 places.

In the men's singles, Yuki Bhambri was unchanged at 86 while Ramkumar Ramanathan climbed four places to a career-best 111.

In the doubles, Rohan Bopanna (27), Divij Sharan (38), Leander Paes (80) and Purav Raja (83) were unchanged. Jeeevan Nedunchezhiyan dropped two rungs to 89 while N Siram Balaji (96) and Vishnu Vardhan (98) also maintained their top-100


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