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Sahaja Yamalapalli becomes third Indian woman to win pro tennis title in US

Sahaja Yamalapalli becomes third Indian woman to win pro tennis title in US

With a hard-fought win against American Amy Zhu at the W15 Los Angeles tournament, 23-year-old tennis superstar has announced her arrival on the global stage.

Sahaja Yamalapalli clinched the ITF Pro title at the W15 Los Angeles tournament by defeating the USA’s Amy Zhu. Although Sahaja’s victory didn’t come easily, it was hard-fought in straight sets (6-4, 7-6(4)). With this title, Sahaja becomes the third Indian woman to win a pro title in America. Before her, former Indian tennis superstar Sania Mirza was the first to win a pro title at the W15 Boca Raton in 2004. Also, in 2023, Karman Thandi claimed the W60 Evansville title. Now Yamalapalli has become the third to achieve this feat.

Achieved the career-best ranking

Speaking more about Sahaja’s performance in this tournament, she had a fine outing until the finals, where she faced no more tussles. However, her hard-fought win in the finals helped her achieve a career-best ranking of 305, surpassing her previous high of 335 in January 2024.

Although it is also true that behind her success, there have been a lot of people who helped her when she needed it, especially with funds for her preparation. Yamalapalli received support when she was in desperate need of funds to participate in the competition. Initially, it was from Lakshya Sports, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting sports talent in India, and then from Techwave, a IT based company from Hyderabad.

She has risen consistently, having won three ITF singles titles. Having played for the Sam Houston State University team and having done wonders for them, Sahaja made headlines in February when she defeated world No. 92 and top seed Kayla Day of America in the first round of the WTA Mumbai Open. Also, last year she beat world No. 186 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the ITF W25 Solapur.

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