Velammal Matric became the first winners at this year's HCL Inter-School Tennis Challenge here in Chennai when their team triumphed in the Girls U-14 team event final.
Led by the number one seed in the Girls U-14, Sruthi Pandithurian, they beat Sacred Heart 2-1 to emerge victorious and take the title. VK Adithi was her solid self in beating Sagaya Angelin in the opening singles, winning 8-2 to give Sacred Heart the lead.
Sruthi levelled things up, winning her singles match comfortably over Tentu Shrichandrakala to force the doubles. Sruthi then paired up with Angelin to beat the Sacred Heart girls in the doubles to claim the trophy for her school.
Earlier in the day, Sruthi made it through to the final of the Girls U-14 after a tough encounter against fifth seed Joshika Premkumar. This was the match many people were looking forward too and did not disappoint.
Joshika had beaten third seed Viveha Sivaraman in the quarters and was coming into this match with confidence. And she offered a sizable challenge to Sruthi, but the top seed prevailed in the end.
The second seed, Kanika Sivaraman, though was upset in the second semifinal when she was beaten by 11th seed Deepa Lakshmi Vanaraja 8-4. Deepa continued her good form from the week.
Sandeep and Anirudh set up final clash
The top two seeds, as expected, booked their place in the Boys U-14 final, after winning their respective semis today. Top seed Sandeep beat third seed Sharaniyan 8-3 to reach the final.
The second semi-final was a much tighter affair between second seed K Anirudh and fourth seed P Hithaesh. After a hotly contested match, it was Anirudh who booked his place in the final, winning 8-5.
Tharakesh Ashokar, the top seed in the Boys U-12, beat third seed Ramanan Sekar 8-2 in his semi-final. His opponent in the final will be fourth seed SA Samuel Jones who also won his semi 8-2, over Akash Karakatte.
Tomorrow is finals day at the 2016 HCL Inter-School Tennis Challenge and will see five finals being contested - the Boys U-12 and U-14 singles, the Girls U-12 and U-14 singles and the Boys U-14 team.
The team final will take place first, followed by the two U-12 singles finals and then the two U-14 singles showpiece finals.
This year’s tournament has seen young boys and girls from around 50 schools participating, including prominent ones such as St. Michaels, Sishya, Velammal, Good Shepherd, Padma Seshadri and Kendriya Vidyalaya.
The winners of the Delhi tournament, Suyash Gupta (Boys) and Smriti Singh (Girls) were sent to the SchuttlerWaske Tennis University, Frankfurt, Germany for a one-week, all expense paid training program.
The winners of the Chennai tournament will also get an opportunity to go for a similar training program with an international academy.
Boys U-14 Semifinals
(1) Sandeep VM bt (3) Sharaniyan S 8-3
(2) Anirudh K bt (4) Hithaesh P 8-5
Boys U-12 Semifinals
(1) Tharakesh Ashokar bt (3) Ramanan Sekar 8-2
(4) Samuel Jones SA bt (11) Akash Karakatte 8-2
Girls U-14 Semifinals
(1) Sruthi Pandithurian bt (5) Joshika Premkumar 8-5
(11) Deepa Lakshmi Vanaraja bt (2) Kanika Sivaraman 8-4
Girls U-14 Team - Final
(1) Velammal Matric bt (9) Sacred Heart 2-1