Indian sports news wrap, January 21

Here are all the major developments in Indian sports on January 21, 2023.

FILE PHOTO: Sidharth Rawat.

FILE PHOTO: Sidharth Rawat. | Photo Credit: A.M.FARUQUI

Here are all the major developments in Indian sports on January 21, 2023.

TENNIS

Sidharth Rawat reaches ITF $15k final in Jakarta

Fourth seed Sidharth Rawat overcame a slow start and recovered from the brink of elimination to beat top seed Thomas Fancutt of Australia 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 in the semifinals of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday.

From being down 2-5 in the second set, Sidharth saved a match point in the tenth game and won the eventual tie break, reeling three points on the trot from 4-4.

In the third set, Sidharth ran up a 4-1 lead before saving four breakpoints in all in the last two service games to close the contest, against the Aussie who served 19 aces in the match.

In the final, Sidharth will play second seed Arthur Weber of France who beat third seed Tsung-Hao Huang in three sets.

The results:

$15,000 ITF men, Jakarta, Indonesia

Singles (semifinals): Sidharth Rawat bt Thomas Fancutt (Aus) 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

Tikhonova and Zuger set up ITF $40k title clash in Bhopal

Fifth seed Anastasia Tikhonova of Russia beat compatriot Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1 to set up a title clash against second seed Joanne Zuger of Switzerland in the $40,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Arera Club on Saturday.

In the doubles final, the Japanese pair of Erina Hayashi and Saki Imamura prevailed 6-3, 7-6(3) over the Russians, Ekaterina Makarova and Ekaterina Reyngold.

The results:
Singles (semifinals): Anastasia Tikhonova (Rus) bt Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 7-5, 6-1; Joanne Zuger (Sui) bt Valeria Savinykh (Rus) 7-5, 6-2.
Doubles (final): Erina Hayashi & Saki Imamura (Jpn) bt Ekaterina Makarova & Ekaterina Reyngold (Rus) 6-3, 7-6(3).

- Kamesh Srinivasan

CHESS

Tata Steel Masters-Challengers: Praggnanandhaa, Arjun stay unbeaten; Gukesh loses; First win for Vaishali

R. Praggnanandhaa held fellow teenager and leader Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan) to a draw in the sixth round of the Masters section of the Tata Steel chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee, near Amsterdam, on Friday.

Arjun Erigaisi and D. Gukesh ran into joint-second placed Anish Giri and Fabiano Caruana. Arjun drew for the sixth successive round but Gukesh lost.

In the challengers section, R. Vaishali (2) posted her first victory while B. Adhiban (3) maintained his sequence of draws.

The results:
Masters: Sixth round: Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 4.5) drew with R. Praggnanandhaa (3.5); Anish Giri (Ned, 4) drew with Arjun Erigaisi (2.5); Fabiano Caruana (USA, 4) bt D. Gukesh (1.5); Ding Liren (Chn, 3) drew with Levon Aronian (USA, 3.5); Jorden van Foreest (Ned, 2) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2.5); Richard Rapport (Rom, 2.5) drew with Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri, 3); Wesley So (USA, 3.5) bt Vincent Keymer (Ger, 1.5).

- Rakesh Rao

Golf

Shubhankar fights hard to shoot 69, lies 11th; three shots behind leader at Abu Dhabi

India’s Shubhankar Sharma grinded through the front nine with a bunch of par saves to card 3-under 69 and be tied 11th after the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBCC Championship.

With rounds of 67-70-69, Sharma, runner-up at the Yas Links last year, is “double digits under par” at 10-under in the Rolex Series event, which carries a purse of USD 9 million.

Sharma was tied 11th alongside Alex Noren (68), Thorbjorn Olesen (68), Richard Bland (66) and Connor Syme (64).

He is three shots adrift of co-leaders Australian Min Woo Lee (66) and two former Open winners, Ireland’s Shane Lowry (66) and Italian Francesco Molinari (69) who were all 13-under.

Sharma said, “It was not one of those days where I was finding a lot of greens. But I still had some birdie putts or at least a good chance of going forward but I missed.” “It was an up -and-down front nine, but the back nine was much better,” he added as he started the back nine with back-to-back birdies on 10th and 11th. He three-putted the 12th for his only bogey and closed the round with a birdie on 18th.

“It was a bit of a grind. Still I think I did pretty good. Like I said, greens got a lot crustier.” He made some solid par saves. On the first hole, the second shot rolled back from the slope but he made a tough two-putt. On the second hole, he went into the bunker with the second shot and then went over the green with his third shot.

Again he two-putted from almost off the green. On the third, he again two-putted from a long distance and on the fourth, he missed an eight footer for birdie.

On the fifth, he went left but again saved par with a two-putt from 50 feet with the par putt from 15 feet. He missed a 6-7 footer for birdie on sixth.

After six pars, he finally birdied Par-5 seventh with a superb second shot that came just short off the green and he took a birdie from there. A par on eighth was followed by a par save on ninth after going into the bunker. He was most relieved to start with a birdie-birdie on back nine.

“Three back is still a good position to be in. I was 10-under after 11, but then came a bogey and the next few holes were not the easiest. I was just telling myself to get to double digits. Then, at least I would have a shot tomorrow. Hopefully, conditions are good tomorrow.” Lee, playing with Sharma, had an up-and-down front nine with three birdies against one bogey. But he was on fire on the back nine with some laser-like approaches, which he had worked on during the off-season. He had five birdies on the home stretch. Lee’s rounds have been 68-69-66.

Lowry holed an eagle 2 in his 66. The round included five birdies and one bogey on the 17th.

Molinari ground it out on a tough day and the birdie on the 18th helped him join Lee and Lowry at 13-under.

Three players Grant Forrest (65), Victor Perez (68) and Sebastian Soderberg (66) are tied fourth at 11-under.

The 51-year-old three time Major winner, Padraig Harrington (64), who had six birdies in a row on the back nine, Antoine Rozner (68), Adrian Meronk (68) and Guido Migliozzi (71) were tied seventh at 11-under.

-PTI

Kartik, Khalin survive second cut, eye Asian Tour card

Kartik Sharma of India finished his fourth round of the five-round Final Stage of Asian Tour Qualifying School with three straight birdies for a 66 and moved up to tied seventh in Hua Hin, Thailand.

With one round to go and the top 35 and ties getting the Asian Tour card for the 2023 season, Kartik is well placed.

Khalin Joshi, a one-time Asian Tour winner, shot 5-under 66 to be tied 41st and he also made the second cut. The players will now play the fifth and final round from which the top 35 and ties will get a Tour card.

Australians Jack Thompson and John Lyras put themselves in prime position to secure their Asian Tour cards at the Final Stage of Qualifying School with one round to go after they took the lead on Saturday with two fine rounds of seven-under-par 64 and 66 respectively.

They are out in front on 17 under par at Lake View Resort and Golf Club.

Ye Wocheng from China, the leader after each of the first three days, shot a 72, and is one behind, while his compatriot Zhengkai Bai and Korean Cho Mingyu are tied for fourth. Bai returned a 66 and Cho a 71.

Two courses are being used this week to accommodate the impressive starting field of 234 players.

-PTI

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