Sahaja Yamalapalli stuns top  seed Kayla Day for the biggest career win in the first round of L&T Mumbai Open Tennis Championships
Mumbai, February 5:  India’s No. 2 ranked player, Sahaja Yamalapalli, pulled off a sensational upset over top seed Kayla Day, of the United States, in a three-set battle in the first round of the L&T Mumbai Open WTA 125K Series Tennis Championships, being organized by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) and the Cricket Club of India (CCI) on Monday evening.
Ranked No. 335 in the world and playing against a top 100 player for the first time in her career, the 23-year-old wild card entrant put aside the loss of a second set to win 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in two hours and 43 minutes and advance to the second round.
Earlier in the day, another Indian wild card entrant Vaishnavi Adkar put on an impressive show before going down in three sets to South Korea’s Sohyun Park while the Indian duo Ankita Raina/ Rutuja Bhosale bowed out in the first round of the doubles event.
19-year-old Adkar, ranked No 841 in the world, was originally scheduled to play qualifier Himeno Sakatsume but the latter was forced to pull out which put Park into the main draw as a lucky loser. Playing an opponent ranked more than 500 spots above her in the rankings, Adkar took the second set before Park came out on top 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 in just under two hours.
In the doubles draw, the all-Indian duo of Raina/ Bhosale was narrowly defeated by Hungary’s Fanny Stollar and Great Britain’s Naiktha Bains 6-3, 2-6, 8-10 in the first round.
Elsewhere in the draw, 16-year-old Alina Korneeva, who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain, defeated Frenchwoman Chloe Paquet 6-1, 6-3 to move into the second round. Korneeva won the Australian and French Open junior singles titles in 2023, becoming the top-ranked junior in the world before transitioning to the pro tour where she is already ranked inside the world’s top 150.
Fifth seed Laura Pigossi, of Brazil, sixth seed Darja Semneistaja, of Latvia, and Dutchwoman Arianna Hartono also won their opening main draw matches on Monday to move into the second round.
L&T Mumbai Open WTA 125K Series Results, Monday February 5, 2024
Singles First Round
Sahaja Yamalapalli (IND) def. (1) Kayla Day (USA) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
(5) Laura Pigossi (BRA) def. Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 3-0 retd.
(6) Darja Semenistaja (LAT) def. Panna Udvardy (HUN) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2
Sohyun Park (LL) (KOR) def. Vaishnvai Adkar (IND) 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
Arianne Hartono (NED) def. Irina Bara (ROM) 6-4, 6-4
Alina Korneeva def. Chloe Paquet (FRA) 6-1, 6-3
Doubles First Round
Naiktha Bains (GBR)/ Fanny Stollar (HUN) def. Ankita Raina (IND)/ Rutuja Bhosale (IND) 3-6, 6-2, 10-8