Ankita wins maiden WTA title, assured of doubles top-100 entry for first time

Melbourne, Feb 19 (PTI):
India’s Ankita Raina on Friday claimed her maiden WTA title by lifting the Phillip Island Trophy along with Russian partner Kamilla Rakhimova, a feat which will catapult her into the top-100 in the doubles for the first time in her career.
Ankita and Kamilla erased a one-set deficit to beat the Russian combination of Anna Blinkova and Anastasia Potapova 2-6 6-4 10-7 in the summit clash here.
The 28-year-old Indian shared the USD 8000 prize money with her partner and earned 280 ranking points, which will take her to 94 from the current 115 when the WTA doubles chart is updated next week.
Ankita will become only the second player to crack the doubles top-100 since Sania Mirza, who is a six-time Grand Slam champion. The past two weeks have been extremely memorable for the gritty Indian, who made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open in the doubles, and also won a round in the main draw of a WTA singles tournament. Elated at her performance and the result, Ankita says the singles top-100 is also just around the corner. “It’s been a great week. Kamilla and I played together for the first time. We signed up just 20 minutes before the draw because there was a lot of confusion with the entry list.
“Kamilla plays very aggressive, has good strokes and I just had to ask her to be aggressive at the net, which she did,” Ankita told PTI.
“It was not that draw was easy, we beat some good players who were tough not only in doubles but in singles, too. Kamilla has great fighting spirit. It’s great… first WTA titles and doubles top-100, too. I am looking forward to crack singles top-100,” she added.
“We were 7-9 down by two match points in the semis. I had some great volleys. I was working on that and when I could do that (execute) in match nothing is more exciting.”

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