ONGCian Ankita Raina wins doubles title at 23rd Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge in Dubai

Ace Indian Tennis star and a proud ONGCian Ankita Raina clinched the doubles title of ITF $1,00,000 +H Women’s at 23rd Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge in Dubai (UAE), with her partner Ekaterine Gorgodze. The duo lifted the title, defeating Kaja Juvan of Slovenia and Bolsova Zadoinov of Spain, at the finals of the tournament held on 12 December 2020.

Day 1 (Singles)

Ankita Raina played against Katrina Sinikova on 7 December 2020. This was the first time Ankita has played against Katrina. Katrina Sinikova has a current WTA ranking of 59. Ankita had a great start in the first set which she won 6-1. In the 2nd and 3rd set, it was a close fight and she showed great effort but lost the match (6-1), (2-6), (2-6).

Singles match proceeding: Ankita Raina at the right side of court
Singles match proceeding: Ankita Raina at the right side of court

Doubles

Ankita paired with Ekaterine Gorgodze for doubles in the ITF $100,000 Tournament held in Dubai. Ekaterine has a WTA Doubles ranking of 140 and her career high as of 14 December 2020 is 115. This was the first time Ankita has paired with Ekaterine. They were the last team to enter the doubles main draw.

Doubles match proceeding: Ankita Raina (from Left) along with her doubles partner Ekaterine Gorgodze
Doubles match proceeding: Ankita Raina (from Left) along with her doubles partner Ekaterine Gorgodze

Day 1 (Doubles Round 1

Ankita and Ekaterine played their first match on 8 December 2020. They played against Reka-Luca Jani of Hungary and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia in the first round. Raina and Gorgodze had a great start and won the first set in a tiebreak with the score of (7-6(5)). They both beat Luca Jani and Krunic 7-6(5), 6-3 to reach the doubles quarterfinals.

For the Album: (second from Left) Ankita Raina doubles partner Ekaterine Gorgodze, along with Match Referee
For the Album: (second from Left) Ankita Raina doubles partner Ekaterine Gorgodze, along with Match Referee

Doubles quarterfinals was played on 10 December 2020. Ankita and her partner Ekaterine played against 2nd Seed - Andreja Klepac and Kristein Flipkens. Raina and Gorgodze broke all the odds by beating Flipkens and Klepac 7 -6 (3) and 6-1 in the quarterfinals and entered the semi- finals. Andreja and Kristein managed to break their opponents' serve twice, while the winning team, for their part broke the opponent’s service 4 times. Ankita and Ekaterine had a first serve percentage of 72%, committed a double fault and got  62% of  the service  points,  while the first serve percentage of their opponents was at 64%. They committed 3 double faults and achieved 54% of the service points.

Day 3 (Doubles Semi Finals)

After beating the second seed, Ankita and Ekaterine were up against Anna Blinkova of Russia and Heather Watson of Great Britain. The match went on to 3rd set which consisted of a super tiebreak. Raina and her partner lost the first set in the tie break with a score of 6-7(1), but reached the doubles finals by winning second and third set with a score of 6-7(1), 6-3, 10-2.

Day 4 (Doubles Finals)

In the finals, the duo played against Kaja Juvan of Slovenia and Bolsova Zadoinov of Spain. After winning a close first set 6-4, Ankita and Ekaterine made a great effort but their opponents made a quick comeback to win the second set. However, Raina and her partner played a gutsy super tiebreak with a 10-6 win in the third set to clinch the doubles title. Ankita and her partner outclassed the pair of Juvan and Zadoinov 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in one-hour 19 minutes to lift the title.

Doubles trophy: Ankita Raina (from Right) and Ekaterine Gorgodze with their double title trophy
Doubles trophy: Ankita Raina (from Right) and Ekaterine Gorgodze with their double title trophy