Second seed and last year’s runner up Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia was knocked out by her doubles partner Irina Khromacheva in the first semi-final of the L&T Mumbai Open on Saturday. The world No 73 lead by a break at the start of both sets but ended up losing 6-4, 7-5 in straight sets to the Russian world No 165 at the Cricket Club of India courts.
It was Jakupovic who started with her foot on the pedal as she raced through the first two games and after a bit of a stutter, held for 3-0.
But after a good start, Jakupovic’s game went off the rails as she started making errors, which outnumbered her good stroke play winners and drops. Once Khromacheva, who has a career-high ranking of 89, got her foot in, she blazed her way to five straight games. She got the break back in the fifth game and went in the lead at 5-3.
Serving to stay in the set, the Slovenian managed to halt the rut to hold but the Russian served out the set, sealing it with a winner off her opponent’s almost-perfect drop shot.
The second set started in the same fashion, as Jakupovic took a 3-0 lead, with two love holds. She played a much more competitive game in the second set and was serving to take it to a decider at 5-3.
But the momentum shifted once again as Khromacheva kept mixing up her shots and a frustrated Jakupovic made one error to many and was broken while serving for the set. The Russian then went on to win three straight games and took the match on serve in one and a half hour.