Ankita Raina wins Phillip Island Trophy for first WTA doubles title

Ankita Raina in action against Spain's Aliona Bolsova during their Yarra Valley Classic singles match in Melbourne on January 30, 2021. WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

Ankita Raina and Russia's Kamilla Rakhimova won the women's doubles title at the Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne on Friday. The WTA 250 event is the first WTA title of Raina's career.

Raina and Rakhimova beat higher-ranked Russian duo Anna Blinkova and Anastasia Potapova 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 in less than 90 minutes to win the tournament, which was held in Melbourne Park alongside the Australian Open.

The first set was dominated by the higher-ranked Russians, who won over 60% of points on their first serve and almost half of the points on their second serve. In comparison, Raina-Rakhimova won just 20% of their first-serve points and none on their second serve. Blinkova-Potapova converted all four break points they had and won 28 of 40 total points to comfortably take the opener.

The second set was a much tighter affair as Raina-Rakhimova did a much better job of winning points on their first and second serves. They converted one break point more than their opponents and won 31 out of 59 points to take the match to a deciding tiebreak, where they sealed the title.

The title marks yet another first for Raina, who made her Australian Open women's doubles main-draw debut this month and got her first singles main draw win in a WTA event, in the first round at Phillip Island.

As a result of this title, Raina -- who won five ITF titles last season, including three in doubles -- should see her ranking rise from 115 currently to break into the Top 100. Not only will that make her the second Indian woman ranked in the Top 100 after Sania Mirza, it will also improve Raina's chances of making the cut for women's doubles at the Tokyo Olympics, the qualification period for which ends on June 7.