Here are all the major updates and developments in Indian sport on March 11.
Avani’s putting woes continue, lies tied-24th at Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific
Indian golfer Avani Prashanth carded a 74 to be Tied-24th after third round of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship in Singapore.
Nishna Patel, who had shot 71-72 on the first two days, finished with 5-over 77 to slip to Tied-34th.
Thailand’s Eila Galitsky, one of the three co-leaders after second round, finished with a superb birdie from the edge of the water on 18th, to take a big three-shot lead going into the final round. Kim Minsol (73) was lying second while Japan’s Yuna Araki (68) was sole third.
Avani, winner of Queen Sirikit Cup, last month, added 2-over 74, which included a birdie-birdie finish but was preceded by back-to-back bogeys on 15th and 16th. Avani kept missing birdie putts for the third day in a row.
“I was just not able to get my feel. So many putts, that I would normally make did not fall, so it was disappointing,” she said.
Avani had one bogey in her first 10 holes and a second one came on 11th. Then, there was a lot of action in the last four holes with two bogeys being followed by two birdies.
Chikka among four players sharing lead in Thailand
India’s S Chikkarangappa fired a third straight five-under 67 to get into a four-way lead in the International Series Thailand in Hua Hin on Saturday.
Chikka, a two-time winner on the Asian Development Tour, has in the past come close to winning his first title on the main Tour, but finished second on two occasions.
Another Indian, Karandeep Kochhar played bogey-free 66 to lie tied 17th at 12-under, just three off the lead.
Chikka at 15-under is tied for the lead with Siddikur Rahman (64), who shot one of the best rounds of his career, Australia’s Zach Murray (68) and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond (69) at the Black Mountain Golf Club here.
Making it really tight is that five players are tied for fifth at 14-under, just one shot behind and seven others are tied at 13-under.
Overnight leader Dodge Kemmer from the United States slipped back with 74 and is 12-under.
There are 28 players within three shots of the lead, setting the stage for a gripping final day.
Among other Indians, Honey Baisoya, who shot 62 in the second round after a 73 in first round, carded 72 on day 3 to lie T-43, while Gaganjeet Bhullar and Veer Ahlawat with 71 each were tied 58th.
Chikka had a chance to hold the outright lead but made a bogey on the par-five 18th. In total, he had five birdies and an eagle against two bogeys.
“I’ve been playing well, you know I had a great season at the end (of 2022) where I made my card on the Asian Tour. I also had a Tour championship win back in my local tour PGTI,” Chikka said.
“So that kind of gave me a lot of confidence. And I’ve been in good form, feeling good about the game. And I went back to my coach and Anirban (Lahiri), so we spent a lot of time there for about 20 days.
“We did a lot of good quality practice and that kind of has given me good confidence, and yeah, I’m feeling good about it.”
Tied at 14-under, one shot behind the leading quartet are Koreans Yongjun Bae (65), Mingyu Cho (66), and Jaewoong Eom (68), Micah Lauren Shin (67) from the United States, and Japan’s Yosuke Asaji (68).
Vihaan Reddy wins maiden ITF juniors title
Vihaan Reddy clinched the title on maiden appearance as he beat Aarjun Pandit 6-4, 6-3 in the boys final of the ITF junior tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Saturday.
The 13-year-old Vihaan who lives and trains at San Jose in the US was playing his first ITF junior tournament and was understandably happy to win the title.
“I was down 1-6, 1-4 in the quarterfinals, and somehow managed to win”, said Vihaan as he looked back at his win against Samarth Sahita.
Vihaan was equally nonchalant when he trailed 1-4 in the second set of the final against Aarjun, and reeled off five games to emerge the champion.
The strong Aarjun had the game and power but lacked the acumen to put things together. In his anxiety to assert his power game, he erred. He recovered to fight better after dropping serve decisively with three double faults in the tenth game of the first set, but lacked the conviction to sustain the fight for long.
The strength of Vihaan, quite a frail boy, was his ability to stay focused on his game, every point, irrespective of the flow of the match. He consistently stroked with purpose and emerged stronger in the tough rallies.
“I am working on my serve. Am not an emotional person. It helps my game”, he reasoned.
After playing the next ITF junior tournament in Dehra Dun, Vihaan may focus on the Easter Bowl, the prestigious under-14 event in Indian Wells, as he attempts to make an impact on the global arena.
In the girls final, Ariana Ggulina of Kazakhstan led 6-2, 1-0 when Nainika Reddy retired with shoulder strain.
Ariana won the doubles title as well with Albina Kakenova. The boys doubles title was bagged by Shanker Heisnam and Siddhant Sharma.
Boys: Vihaan Reddy bt Aarjun Pandit 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles: Shanker Heisnam & Siddhant Sharma bt Fateh Singh & Navya Verma 7-5, 6-4.
Girls: Ariana Gogulina (Kaz) bt Nainika Reddy 6-2, 1-0 (retired).
Doubles: Ariana Gogulina & Albina Kakenova (Kaz) bt Anastasiya Krymkova & Satima Toregen (Kaz) 6-1, 6-2.
Bopanna/Ebden reach second round at Indian Wells
Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden beat Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez 7-5, 3-6, [10-6] in the doubles first round of the ATP 1000 Indian Wells, USA.
In the pre-quarterfinals, Bopanna and Ebden will play Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who put out second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6(2), 6-4.