Nitin, Bava make quarters at National tennis championship
By Amanpreet Singh
New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) Talented youngster Nitin Kumar Sinha outsmarted Faisal Qamar while Bawa Haddin used his experience to tame big-hitting Jayesh Pungliya to progress to the men's singles quarter-finals of the Fenesta National Tennis Championship, here today.
Nitin, who also represents Indian Air force, outplayed eighth seed and Indian Navy's Faisal 6-3 6-2 while second seed Bava outclassed Pungliya 7-5 6-4 in the second round at the DLTA Complex.
Faisal could not find a weapon to break Nitin's all-round game as his over reliance on backhand slices was not enough to trouble the West Bengal boy.
Nitin, coached by Akhtar Ali, controlled the points better with variation as he often charged the net to put his rival under pressure. Faisal also lost his cool several times during the match, throwing his racquet out of frustration at least thrice.
On the other hand, 18-year-old Nitin played aggressive, hit the ball clean and hard and always found a way to tilt rallies in his favour.
It was Nitin who lost the first game of the match but broke Faisal twice to take a comfortable 5-3 lead. Faisal served two double faults in the eighth game while Nitin continued to play smart as he rushed to net at deuce to induce errors from his rival.
Faisal netted a backhand to be down by a breakpoint. Nitin returned exceptionally well on that point as Faisal failed to pick a half volley to drop serve.
On his second set point, Nitin found a deft drop volley.
Nitin broke Faisal in the third game of the second set with a stunning backhand cross court winner, continuing to dominate the points.
"I played well. I came to the net and stayed solid from behind. I have a good chance to win this tournament," Nitin told PTI after the match.
He admitted that playing both Under-18 and men's is "tiring" but justified it by saying that it was important to maintain national ranking. He next takes on D Singh, who ousted qualifier N Golmei 6-1 6-1.
Pungliya unleashed his power-packed game against Bava to go up 3-0 but the latter's game was well-equipped to handle pressure and change the direction of the game.
The Kerala lad, who is pursuing B.Com at Rizvi College in Mumbai and is coached by his father Salim Bava, gained the upper hand by controlling the pace of the game.
Largely the two players remained on the baseline, hitting the ball flat and hard to make it a treat to watch. Bava though stood out with some amazing on the run forehand winners.
Bava now faces equally calm Arjun Kadhe, who dispatched Hardeep Singh Sandhu 7-5 6-1 in his second round. Seasoned Nitten Kirrtane also reached the last-eight with an easy 6-2 6-1 win over Siddhanth Banthia.
The 43-year-old will now take on top seed Suraj Prabodh, who defeated Armaan Bhatia 6-3 6-1.
In the women's singles, Telangana's Bhuvana Kalva knocked out third seed local girl Shweta Rana 6-2 6-4. Bhuvana will lock horns with former champion Prerna Bhambri, who trounced Moulika B Ram 6-0 6-0.
Top seed Zeel Desai also booked a quarter-final berth with a 6-4 6-0 win over Shreya Gulia. Next up for Zeel is Shaikh Humera, who came out a 6-3 6-4 winner against eight seed Sara Yadav.
In the bottom half, Priknle Singh got a walkover from an injured Yubrani Banerjee to set up quarterfinals with Tanisha Kashyap, who beat N Raj 6-4 6-1.
Mahak Jain and Sai Samhita Chamarthi completed the quarterfinal spots with their respective wins. Mahak got past Snehadevi S Reddy 6-2 6-2 while Samhita beat S Soha 6-3 6-1