Junior No.1 Siddhant Banthia played a sharp game to beat the fourth seed and the runner-up of last edition Suraj Prabodh 6-3, 6-2 in the men’s first round of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Tuesday.
Having come through the qualifying event, Siddhant, who has competed in the Grand Slams as a junior, had the all-round athletic game and the composure to outwit Suraj who was shaky with his game.
While former national champions VM Ranjeet and Mohit Mayur set up a second round against each other with wins over Prithvi Sekhar and qualifier Suresh Dhakshineswar respectively, third seed Sidharth Rawat asserted his high quality game with a hard-earned 6-4, 7-5 victory over the explosive game of Kaza Vinayak Sharma.
Sidharth, who has been competing at the Challenger level, will lock horns against the bespectacled and fast-improving Anirudh Chandrasekar who warded a stiff challenge from Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
In the women’s section, Rishika Sunkara battled for three hours to pip qualifier and one of the brightest juniors in the country, Sharannya Gaware 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3. The wiry and athletic Rishika who was a bit defensive in the first set against the free-stroking left-hander, switched gear in the second set, especially from being down 3-5 in that set when she was literally staring at defeat.
Rishika turned the match on its head with her confident and crafty game, and raced up to a 4-1 lead in the third set before Sharannya stretched the contest by wining two games and saving two match points.
Qualifier Muskan Gupta knocked out Asian junior champion Mihika Yadav 6-3, 6-1 to set up a second round against fifth seed Humera Shaik who herself had to sweat it out against Prathiba Prasad in a three-setter.
There was a lot of sparkle in the junior girls event, as Gargi Pawar beat top seed Salsa Aher 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 and Ishita Singh knocked out third seed Kaavya Sawhney 6-4, 6-4. Both the winners hammered winners at will to assert their supremacy.
Vipasha Mehra beat fourth seed Prinkle Singh, and Rutuja Chaphalkar bounced back from the brink of defeat to beat fifth seed Bhakti Shah 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
In the junior boys event, Drona Walia continued with his good run and made the quarterfinals,
Men (first round): Yugal Bansal bt Sivadeep Kosaraju 6-3, 7-5; Sidharth Rawat bt Kaza Vinayak Sharma 6-4, 7-5; Anirudh Chandrasekar bt Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam 5-7, 7-5, 6-4; VM Ranjeet bt Prithvi Sekhar 6-1, 6-3; Mohit Mayur bt Suresh Dhakshineswar 6-3, 6-2; NItin Kumar Sinha bt Dhruv Sunish 6-3, 6-1; Ansu Bhuyan bt Ajay Malik 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; BR Nikshep bt Parikshit Somani 6-4, 6-4; Siddhanth Banthia bt Suraj Prabodh 6-3, 6-2; SD Prajwal Dev bt Armaan Bhatia 7-6(3), 6-1; Paras Dahiya bt Kunal Vazirani 6-4, 7-5; Manish Sureshkumar bt Sacchitt Sharma 6-3, 6-0.
Women (first round): Anusha Kondaveeti bt Arthi Muniyan 2-6, 7-5, 6-0; Sathwika Sama bt Vanshita Pathania 6-1, 6-1; Rishika Sunkara bt Sharannya Gaware 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3; Natasha Palha bt Kaavya Sawhney 6-1, 6-2; Ramya Natarajan bt Prathyusha Rachapu 6-3, 6-1; Humera Shaik bt Prathiba Prasad 7-6(6), 0-6, 6-3; Muskan Gupta bt Mihika Yadav 6-3, 6-1; Shweta Rana bt Ayushi Tanwar 6-1, 6-4.
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