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Khelo India 2019, Tennis: Maharashtra's Aryaan, Mihika in race for tennis gold

Aryaan Bhatia of Maharashtra in action at Khelo India Youth Games
Aryaan Bhatia of Maharashtra in action at Khelo India Youth Games
Modified 16 Jan 2019, 21:12 IST
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Pune, January 16: Two-time national junior champion and top seed Mahak Jain of Madhya Pradesh had to dig deep to get the better of Gujarat’s third seed Zeel Desai 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 and will meet the unseeded Mihika Yadav of Maharashtra in the gold medal match of the girls Under-21 singles competition of the Khelo India Youth Games here.

In Wednesday’s second U-21 girls semi-final, Mihika dumped the unseeded Kaavya Sawhney of Uttar Pradesh 6-3, 6-3 after the latter had ousted second seed Humera Shaik 6-3, 6-2 in the quarters. Girls U-21 finalist Mihika has fond memories of this venue as she won her maiden $10,000 ITF women's title here in 2016.

Maharashtra’s Aryaan Bhatia produced a dominant performance to beat top seed Sushant Dabas of Haryana 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 and reach the boys U-17 singles final while Dhruv Sunish and Girgi Pawar of Maharashtra also reached the semi-finals of the U-21 boys and U-17 girls’ events respectively.

The unseeded Bhatia, an 11th standard Commerce student of Rizvi College in Mumbai, had a battle on his hands against Dabas with his heavy and aggressive, baseline game.

But Bhatia's powerful serve proved too big a weapon for Dabas to overcome. Bhatia broke in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead and then held serve to win the set 7-5 in 38 minutes.

In the second set, the left-handed Dabas fought back with an early break as Bhatia started to commit unforced errors after a close line call went against him. Dabas drew level after winning the set with some comfort at 6-3 but Bhatia regrouped with some flawless tennis to close out the match 6-2 in the decider.

Bhatia later said, "Honestly, when I saw the draw I didn't think I would reach the final. I had never beaten any of the guys in my section before and today I beat Sushant. I believe I've made my state and family proud." 

Aryaan faces the unseeded Dev Javia of Gujarat who won an all-Gujarat semi-final 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) against fourth seed Krish Patel.

In the boys U-21 singles, Dhruv Sunish who played the qualifiers of an ATP Challenger last year in Pune, won a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 encounter against top seed Eqbal Ishaque of West Bengal in two hours and 25 minutes.

After the match, Dhruv said, "It's a big win for me as I've been struggling with back and elbow injuries in recent months. Even when I lost the second set, I reminded myself that I've beaten the same opponent a couple of times and that made the difference in the crucial third set."

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Dhruv takes on fourth seed Paramveer Bajwa of Chandigarh who beat Abhinav Sanjeev of Tamil Nadu 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-3 in another close encounter. 

In other U-21 quarter-final action, the unseeded Nitin Sinha of West Bengal created a huge upset as he ousted second seed Faisal Qamar of Rajasthan 6-1, 6-3. Sinha will meet the in-form Sureshkumar Manish of Tamil Nadu who has dropped only two games in the tournament so far.

Third seed Manish was untroubled by S. Karteek Ganta of Telangana 6-1, 2-0 (ret) in the quarters.

Results

U-17 boys singles semi-finals: Aryaan Bhatia (Mah) bt Sushant Dabas (Har) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2; Dev Javia (Guj) bt Krish Patel (Guj) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1)

U-21 boys singles quarter-finals: Paramveer Bajwa (Chd) bt Abhinav Sanjeev (TN) 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-3; Suresh Kumar Manish (TN) bt S. Karteek Ganta (Tel) 6-1, 2-0 (ret.); Nitin Sinha (WB) bt Faisal Qamar (Raj) 6-1, 6-3; Dhruv Sunish (Mah) bt Eqbal Ishaque (WB) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

U-17 girls singles quarter-finals: Gargi Pawar (Mah) bt Anjali Rathi (Har) 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3; Prerna Vichare (Mah) bt S. Pandithdyrai (TN) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); Priyanshi Bhandari (Guj) bt Vanshika Choudhari (UP) 6-2, 6-2; Lakshmi Reddy (AP) bt Sanjana Sirimalla (TS) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3

U-21 girls singles semi-finals: Mahak Jain (MP) bt Zeel Desai (Guj) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Mihika Yadav (Mah) bt Kavvya Sawhney (UP) 6-3, 6-3.

Published 16 Jan 2019, 21:12 IST
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