October, 2017: Suraj R.Prabodh from Karnataka showed form and fitness to snap the winning run of 43-year-old Nitten Kirtane in the men’s singles quarter-finals of the Fenesta Open national tennis championship on Thursday.
On a hot day, when contestants needed to keep themselves hydrated well for the rigours of tennis, Suraj showed he had the arsenal and the attitude to take on a battle-hardened opponent for a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) entry into the semi-finals.
To beat Nitten on hard court requires good effort and not get intimidated. Nitten can upset the rhythm of opponent’s with slice and dice and finding sharp angles. On Thursday, Suraj shone bright under the sunshine and ensured he was going to book his date with the last four spot.
“This is the first time I am in the semi-finals of the Fenesta tournament. I did not do well in the junior section, so gamewise I could have played even sharper after winning the first set. I was a bit complacent in the second set, if not I could have won in shorter time,” said Suraj.
Baava Haadin enjoyed his outing in the Fenesta Open as he played smart tennis to beat fancied opponent Arjun Kadhe 7-5, 6/7(6/8), 6-3 in the second quarter-final.
The odds were on Kadhe winning as he had been grounded well in the fundamentals of tennis in collegiate tennis in the United States. Yet, what counts in a tennis match is who plays better on the day, soaks in the pressure and wins points. Baava did just that.
“It was a good victory against Arjun because according to me, he was the toughest player. I was hoping to play him in the finals so that it is more exciting but the draws were made and we were supposed to play in the quarters. We expected a good match and that’s what happened today. We grinded it out for three hours and I think I pulled it off better in the situations that were needed,” said Baava.
In the ladies quarter-finals, Zeel Desai as top seed showed she has plenty of potential. The youngster played with zeal to clinically wear out Shaikh Humera 6-2, 6-4 to enter the semi-finals.
A wild card into the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championship, Tanisha Kashyap made a convincing entry into the semi-finals of women’s singles and Girls Under – 18. She will also put her skills at use in Friday’s Under 18 doubles final. Elated after her victory, she said, “It is my first women’s tournament, I came in as a wild card and it feels great to be in the semis both in women’s , girls under 18 and I have also entered the finals of the doubles. Tomorrow I want to play my game and prove to myself.”
“I am excited with my win. To be in the semi-finals of the nationals in ladies section, this has been a great run for me,” said Zeel.
Delhi girl Prerna Bhambri paid the price for inconsistency and unforced errors as she lost in straight sets to promising Bhuvana Kalva in a humdinger. Bhuvana lost the first set at love and then regrouped well to win the next two sets 6-4, 6-3.
It was tough conditions and Bhuvana has shown that hard training and being ready mentally in long battles helps.
Men’s Singles – Quarter Finals
Suraj R Prabodh [KA] (Seed 1) bt Nitten Kirrtane [MH] (Seed 7): 6-3,7-6(4); Bava Haadin [KL] (Seed 2) bt Arjun Kadhe [MH]: 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-3; Manish Sureshkumar [TN] bt Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash [TN]: 1-6,6-1,6-1; Dalwinder Singh [PB] (Seed 4) bt Nitin Kumar Sinha [WB] : 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Women’s Singles – Quarter Finals
Zeel Desai [GJ] (Seed 1) bt Shaikh Humera [TS]: 6-2, 6-4; Mahak Jain [MP] (Seed 5) bt Samhitha Sai Chanmarthi [TN] (Seed 2): 6-2,6-2; Bhuvana Kalva [TS] bt Prerna Bhambri [DL] (Seed 6): 0-6,6-4,6-3; Tanisha Kashyap [AS] bt Prinkle Singh [J&K]: 6-1,6-0
Boys Singles U-18 – Quarter Finals
Siddhanth J. Banthia [MH] (Seed 2) bt Amit Beniwal [HR] 6-0, 6-0; Dhruv Sunish [MH] (Seed 3) bt Dev V Javia [GJ] (Seed 10) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3; Abhimanyu Vannemareddy [KA] (Seed 4) bt Fardeen Qumar [RJ] 2-6, 7-5, 6-2; Sacchitt Sharma [DL] (Seed 7) upset Nitin Kumar Sinha [WB] (Seed 1) 7-5, 6-0
Girls Singles U-18 – Quarter Finals
Akansha A. Bhan [GJ] (Seed 1) bt Shivani Manjanna [KA] (Seed 5) 6-2, 6-2; Sathwika Sama [TS] (Seed 13) bt Prerna V Vichare [MH] 7-6(6), 6-1; Tanisha Kashyap [AS] (Seed 2) bt Shivani Sravya C [TS] (Seed 6) 6-2, 6-1; Vaidehi Chaudhari [GH] (Seed 3) bt Shaikh Humera [TS] (Seed 6) 6-1, 6-3.