Former South Asian Games medallist and Fed Cup player Sharmada Balu made a comeback to competitive tennis when she reached the main draw of the AITA Women's Championship which begins at the PBI-CSE Tennis Academy, Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence from Monday. Sharmada, who is playing competitive tennis after a hiatus of nearly five years, easily overcame Vaishnavi Shetty (6-1, 6-0) in her final qualifying match held here on Sunday.
Meanwhile Humera Baharmus of Telangana, who had to go through the qualifying owing to her late entry, has been given the top billing. Soha Sadiq and Pratibha Prasad Narayan, both from Karnataka, have been seeded second and third respectively while Telangana's Chilumula Nidhi is ranked fourth.
The main draw consists of 32 players vying for the title with 24 players coming through the direct entry quota and eight players from the qualifying rounds.
Final qualifying results (State & Seedings in parenthesis)
Humera Baharmus (TS) (1) bt Nidi Buvila Sreenivasa (KAR) 6-3, 6-0;
Aryalee Chavan (MAH) (2) bt kashmira Manohar (KAR) 6-1, 6-4;
Abhaya Vemuri (TS) bt Yashika Venu (KAR) (3) 6-1, 6-4;
Riti Agarwal (KAR) bt Charmi Gopinath (KAR) 6-3, 6-1;
Sreenidhi Balaji (KAR) bt Sri Sanchana Sampath (TN) 6-4, 6-3;
Apurva Vemuri (TS) bt Meghana P (KAR) 6-4, 6-1;
Niharika Praveen Deshmukh (KAR) (12) bt Utsah Karla (KAR) (7) 6-3, 6-1;
Sharmada Balu (KAR) bt Vaishnavi Shetty (KAR) 6-1, 6-0.