Natasha Subhash
Natasha Subhash

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Indian-American teenager Natasha Subhash and Indian national Pranjala Yadlapalli each emerged victorious in their opening matches of the 2016 U.S. Open Junior Girls Championship, the former defeated 12th-seeded Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska and the latter Wiktoria Kulik of Poland.

The 15-year-old Subhash showcased a relentless attack, coming from behind to defeat Zavatska 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Monday. She entered the tournament after receiving a Wild Card from the U.S. Tennis Association last year, likely a reward after she reeled off three straight victories over higher-ranked opponents.

This year is her second trip to the Open. Her inaugural campaign last year made her the youngest Indian American to have ever played in a Grand Slam tournament.

Subhash is currently ranked in the top 60 amongst singles and doubles players, and is currently the No. 1 ranked girl under the age of 16 in the country. Earlier this year, she played the French Open and the Italian Open, losing in the qualifying rounds. She was entered to play the main draw of Wimbledon, but couldn’t participate because of personal reasons, and didn’t participate in the qualifiers of the Australian Open.

She faces further tournament restrictions from the International Tennis Federation because of her age.

Her opponent, Zavatska, has garnered the reputation of being one of the hardest-hitting girls in the game. However, Subhash managed to manipulate the match with her own trademark, her all-court presence. Despite getting break points in successive games of the first set, Subhash failed to convert. That, combined with early serving issues, which included more than one double fault, resulted in the slow start for Subhash.

She flipped the script on the match when it mattered most. Suddenly, everything began working for Subhash — cross court shots and volleys resulted in points and her stellar defense along the net served to only grow her lead further.

Subhash ran away to an early 3-0 lead in the decider, before some errors let Zavatska crawl back to level at 3-3. She ultimately capped off the two-hour plus contest with a overhead smash for the victory.