These players have the potential to reach new heights this year.
Indian tennis is producing some decent talent in the women’s singles category. Though these players are currently far away from the top 100 spot in WTA Rankings, they are making their presence felt in the world of tennis. Sania Mirza was the first singles player who brought Indian women’s tennis in the limelight. No current player has been able to match that success so far.
Mirza was ranked 27 during the peak of her career in 2007. Although, Mirza could not bring longevity to her singles run. She eventually focused her target on the doubles and mixed doubles format of the game and found great success. Now the question remains as to whether her successors in the game will achieve the same amount of accolades in their tennis careers.
Here’s a look at the top five Indian women’s singles players we must keep an eye on.
5. Sowjanya Bavisetti
Sowjanya Bavisetti is currently ranked 587th in the world rankings and holds 70 points in the WTA system. Bavisetti has a 64% win rate this year and has won seven of her eleven games. Her win percentage in 2020 has also bettered her previous performances. Though it can be argued that the year has just started, but it surely has begun on a positive note.
The three-time singles winner on the ITF circuit is equally proficient on both clay and hard surfaces. Moreover, her performance in doubles is worth mentioning too. She has won nine double titles on the ITF circuit. Bavisetti has also represented her nation in the Fed Cup.
4. Rutuja Bhosale
Maharashtra’s Rutuja Bhosale is another talented Indian tennis player. The right-handed player made quite a splash as a junior player. She achieved her career-high ranking of 55 as a junior competitor and also holds four titles on the ITF circuit.
Bhosale is currently ranked 476 on the WTA circuit. She dropped more than 100 spots as she was previously ranked 342. However, her doubles career has flourished more over the recent years. The clay-court specialist with a 71% success rate on the surface will surely look to get back up in the rankings.
3. Riya Bhatia
Unlike Rutuja, Riya Bhatia hasn’t started the year in an effective fashion. The Indian player has lost six of her seven matches this year. However, things were different a few years back. The 24-year-old was winning quite a good number of games during that phase.
The ITF Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt (2016), ITF Colombo in Sri Lanka (2017) and the Lagos Open in Nigeria (2019) went her way. Riya is currently struggling with her form. The former Asian Games player has not won a single ITF tournament this year. Bhatia lost her last game against American Anna Rogers at ITF Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
2. Karman Thandi
One of the few Indian singles players to make it to the top 200 of the WTA rankings, Karman Kaur Thandi became the sixth player to do so. She reached her career-high ranking of 196 on 20th August 2018. Currently, she is ranked 447 and has a total of 107 points to her credit.
The 23-year-old won her maiden singles title in the $25k Hong Kong tournament on 23rd June 2018. She has also represented India in the Fed Cup. Thandi holds a win-loss record of 3-6 in singles in this event. Moreover, she is also the first player since Sania Mirza to win a WTA main draw match. She defeated Lu Jiajing at the 2018 Jiangxi International Women’s Tennis Open.
Karman is backed by the Virat Kohli Foundation and Mahesh Bhupathi.
1. Ankita Raina
Ankita Raina is currently India’s No. 1 women’s singles tennis player. Raina is a steady baseline player with good speed. She is also a good counter puncher of the tennis ball which helps her win rallies. The Ahmedabad born tennis star is equally proficient on hard and grass courts. The clay court is one of her weak spots.
Ankita reached her singles high career ranking of 160 in 2020. Currently, she is ranked 322 on the WTA ranking table. She has won two singles titles and one doubles title on the ITF circuit. However, her Grand Slam journey hasn’t been the smoothest ride. She failed to qualify nine times for the main stage. Something she will definitely hope to change in the future.