Giant-killer Pranjala Yadlapalli went down fighting to second seeded Tadeja Majeric in the semifinals to end the Indian challenge at the USD 25,000 Endurance Aurangabad Open Women’s ITF Tennis Championships.
In a match lasting nearly two hours, the tall Majeric, currently ranked 269th, stopped the winning run of 16-year-old Hyderabad girl Pranjala, winning 6-3 1-6 6-4.
It will the third straight finals for the Slovak in five weeks after having reached the finals at two USD 25,000 events in Nigeria prior to reaching India.
Majeric will take on top-seeded Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine, ranked 246th in the world, in tomorrow’s singles final. Valeriya took just 1 hour and 30 minutes to quell the challenge of Russian Ekaterina Yashina 7-5 6-1 in the other semi final.
Strakhova also placed herself in line for a double crown as she lifted the doubles title in tandem with Russian Margarita Lazareva, by defeating top seeds Melis Sezer of Turkey and Yashina 6-1 7-6(2) in the final.
Pranjala lost her service twice to go down 3-6 in the opening set against Majeric. The Indian girl fought back by hitting an array of winners on both flanks, and serving well, to win the second 6-1.
In the final set, Pranjala started with a break to lead 1-0, but then was broken twice to trail 1-4. She clawed back to 3-4, but Majeric held serve to go up 3-5. Pranjala made it 4-5, but the experienced Majeric then held on to her serve to win the set and the match.
“I tried my best, but Majeric was very consistent in the match and I was a bit tired in the third set” said the young Pranjala who got 18 WTA points for her effort and is set to jump 400 places to be around 725 in the new rankings.
Majeric praised Pranjala and said “I was surprised she is only 16 years old but she plays like any other professional player on the circuit. She has a good future. Both Ankita (Raina) and Pranjala played very well against me in the last two days and I’m happy to survive,” she added.