Ankita claims doubles title in Melbourne

Thursday 25th February 2021 02:14 EST

Ankita Raina scripted history by becoming the second Indian women, after Sania Mirza, to win a WTA title in Melbourne. The winning run will propel Ankita into the top 100 of doubles when the rankings are updated. Ankita, who narrowly missed out on reaching the singles main draw of the Australian Open and her Russian partner Kamilla Rakhimova, staged a comeback after losing the opening set to win 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 against Russian pair of Anna Blinkova and Anastasia Potapova in an all-unseeded affair. Enroute to their victory, the Indo-Russian duo converted five break points from the six chances they received and saved three break points from the nine they faced on their serve. About the match, the Ahmedabad-born Ankita said, "Our opponents Anna & Anastasiastarted the match very solid. It was very windy and me and Rakhimova were having difficulty in playing in such conditions. They were able to win the games easily. They were very confident in the first set. They knew our playing style and they were able to counter it very well. They won the first set 6-2." "We started the second set very aggressively. We were returning the serves better than what we were doing in the first set. With each passing games we became more confident. We won the second set 6-4 and the super tie break 10-7," the 28-year-old Indian said. Stating that she is hopeful of replicating the doubles form in singles, the 115th-ranked Ankita stated, "I'm looking forward to replicate the same in singles! It’s been a good trip over all, good matches and practices here. Couldn’t have asked for more."

Chikkarangappa wins golf title

Bengaluru’s S Chikkarangappa took centre stage as he shot a solid closing fourunder 68 to earn a remarkable come from-behind win at the Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2021 at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club. The 27-year-old Chikka, a two-time winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and an Asian Tour regular, ended the week with a winning total of nine-under 279 for a three-shot victory, his 13th win on the PGTI. Viraj Madappa fired the last day’s best score of seven-under 65 to finish runner-up at sixunder 282. Om Prakash Chouhan, who was ahead by five shots at the start of the final round, carded a disastrous six-over-78 that saw him drop to tied third at five-under 283 with Sachin Baisoya (68) and Kolkata’s SSP Chawrasia 71.

Quicks ‘dying’ to use pink ball in India: Wood

England's pacemen are "dying to get" their hands on the pink ball ahead of the day/night third Test against India, fast bowler Mark Wood said. With the four-match series level at 1-1, the teams will play their first floodlit Test against each other in next week's inaugural match at Ahmedabad's new Sardar Patel Stadium. Wood said England's seamers had been excited by their early experience with the pink ball that will be in use next week. "We've been bowling with them in the nets - they have swung quite a bit and they've lasted longer, which was interesting to see," Wood said. "With the ball, as soon as it moves, every one of the bowlers from the past couple of months is dying to get it in their hand. As soon as the ball moves we know how good our seam bowlers can be," said Wood.

Boxers assured of 12 medals

Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg) and Vinka (60kg) advanced to the semifinals of the 30th Adriatic Pearl boxing tournament in Budva, Montenegro, assuring themselves of at least a bronze medal each with dominating first-round wins. Others to make the semifinals are Arundhati Choudhary (69kg), Preeti (57kg), Lucky Rana (64kg), Neha (54kg) and Sanamacha Chanu Thokchom (75kg). Alfiya Pathan (81+kg), Geetika (48kg) and Raj Sahiba (75kg) are in the final. Among men, Jugnoo (91+kg) and Priyanshu Dabas (49kg) are in the semifinals.

BWF extends Tokyo qualification window

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said that Tokyo Olympics hopefuls will have until June 15 to secure qualification for the Games after a number of World Tour events were postponed due to Covid-19. The Malaysia Open, which was scheduled for March 31-April 4, has been pushed back to May 25-30, while April’s Malaysia Masters has been postponed until further notice. The Singapore Open has also been pushed back by two months and will now be held from June 1-6 and will be the last tournament for qualification.

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