Aurangabad, Jan 12 (IANS) National Champion Prerna Bhambri defeated third-seeded Ayaka Okuno of Japan 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at the Aurangabad Open Women’s tennis Championships here on Tuesday. Pranjala Yadlapalli led fourth-seeded Melanie Klaffner 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-1 when the Austrian conceded the match due to illness. Three other Indians – fifth-seeded Ankita Raina, Rishika Sunkara and Sneha Devi Reddy – also entered the second round in the singles category at the EMMTC school of tennis courts. Delhi girl and current national champion Bhambri, who made it to the second round at this level after nearly two years, pulled off the biggest win of the event upsetting third-seeded and 289th ranked Ayaka Okuno, ranked 125 places above her.
Bhambri took 2 hours and 30 minutes to register the win. Ankita outplayed qualifier Amrita Mukherjee 6-3, 6-2, Sneha Devi out rallied Natasha Palha 6-2,6-2, while Rishika played strongly to win 6-1,6-2 against wildcard Rashmi Teltumbde and make it to the round of sixteen. The second round will feature seven Indians with at least three guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals, as Ankita is pitted against Sneha Devi Reddy, Prerna Bhambri taking on Dhruti Venugopal and Rishika Sunkara clashing with Pranjala Yadlapalli. The other Indian Riya Bhatia will clash with seventh seeded Lou Brouleau of France for a place in the last eight.