Reigning National Women’s Champion, Anika Seneviratne once again proved her prowess by retaining the Women’s Open title at the 2019 Clay Court Nationals Tennis Championship.
Anika Seneviratne won the maiden Clay court Nationals Women’s Trophy last year before claiming her prize at the Hard-court Nationals later in the year, as well. This year, she kicked off her hunt for another couple of National titles.
Seneviratne faced Janali Manamperi in the Women’s Open final and fought hard to dismiss top seed Manamperi in straight sets.
Anika’s road to the final
Surprisingly, the defending champion started her journey to the final unseeded in the 16-man draw. Anika defeated Sethmi Sumanaweera in the first round 6/0, 6/1. The next round was against 2019 SSC Open Champion Rushika Wijesooriya who was seeded 4th in the draw.
Seneviratne dominated play from the first serve, owning the first set 6 games to 1. The next set came to an early stop when Wijesooriya deemed unfit to continue in the 4th game and retired from the match, awarding Seneviratne the ticket to the semifinals. Final scores read 6/1, 3/0 (Ret.)
The semifinal was one of the most enthralling games in the entirety of the Women’s draw this year with Anjalika Kurera taking on Seneviratne in a three-set brawl. Kurera struck first winning the first set 6 games to 3, Seneviratne equaled odds in the second, 6/3. In an exciting winner-takes-all tie breaker, Seneviratne pulled through 7 points to 1 and headed straight to a well-deserved final.
Janali’s road to the final
Women’s top seed Janali Manamperi received a bye in the first round and had a shaky way to the final thereafter. M Alexander matched Manamperi at 5 games all in both sets but the latter pulled through, winning the second round tie 7/5, 7/5.
In the semifinals, Anika’s sister Alana Seneviratne stood in the way of Janali and the final and fought well to steal the spot, but Manamperi’s experience came into play. This sent Manamperi over to the final in a three-set win over Alana with a big sigh of relief. Final scores read 6/1, 4/6, 6/2.
In the final, Anika Seneviratne saw no real threat from her opposition as she started thrashing hard and smart to dominate throughout the match. She won the first set of the match 6 games to 0. In the second set, Manamperi tried to salvage what was left of the game and managed to muster up 3 games to her name.
Photos from the Women’s Open Singles Final (https://www.thepapare.com/photos-clay-court-nationals-2019-day-21/)
However, the champ could not be stopped, as she swung her racket over the finish line with a score of 6/0, 6/3 to win her 2nd consecutive Clay Court National Women’s Open title.