Karman Kaur Thandi came up with the upset of the opening day of the WTA 250 Chennai Open by beating eight seed Chloe Paquet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the SDAT Stadium.
In a match riddled with unforced errors from both sides, the 24-year-old from New Delhi managed to keep her nerve towards the end to play the right shots and come out with the win over the world No 109 from France – the biggest win of the Indian’s career so far.
The result gave the world No 359 her first WTA tour main draw match win since she reached the second round at the Jiangxi, China, event in 2018.
This was also only the second main draw win by an Indian this year, after Yuki Bhambri reached the second round of the Pune Open earlier this year.
“This is a super special win for me, because I won in front of a home crowd and that too in Chennai, a city which loves its tennis, and beating a higher-ranked player is always special,” Thandi said to Sportstar.
“I spent the last four months playing on hard courts, I also had a two-week stint training in Chandigarh with my coach, which helped me acclimatise in advance before I got here.”
Tour-level tennis has returned to Chennai for the first time since the erstwhile ATP 250 Chennai Open – which moved to Pune from the 2018 season. But this is the biggest event there is for women’s tennis in India.
Thandi will next play former world No 5 and 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.
On Tuesday, current India No 1 Ankita Raina (ranked 365) will face Wimbledon semifinalist Tatjana Maria of Germany in the second match on Centre Court.
Matches are being televised on the Sony Sports Network