Bopanna-Ebden pair reaches Madrid Open final
Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden came from a set down to beat the eighth-seeded Mexican-French duo of Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 5-7, 7-6(3), 10-4 and reach the Madrid Open final on Thursday.
The seventh-seeded Indo-Australian pair has reached its fourth final of the season. They will face the Russian duo of Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev who beat reigning French Open champions Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 6-4 in the second semifinal.
Bopanna and Ebden won titles in Doha and Indian Wells and are ahead of everyone else in the race for one of the eight berths at the season-ending ATP Tour Finals.
Ankita reaches quarterfinals of ITF event in Georgia
Third seed Ankita Raina saved five match points from 3-6 in the second set tie-break to beat Anna Brogan of Britain 2-6, 7-6(9), 6-0 in the pre-quarterfinals of the $40,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Thursday.
ATP Challenger, Gwangju, Korea
$40,000 ITF women, Tbilisi, Georgia
$25,000 ITF women, Nottingham, Britain
$15,000 ITF women, Monastir, Tunisia
AITA women’s tournament- Sonal, Kashish enter final
Sonal Patil overcame a stiff resistance from top seed Sahira Singh for a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory in the semifinals of Rs.100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Thursday.
In the other semifinal, Kashish Bhatia was in a spot of bother after having two match points at 6-1, 5-1 against Divya Bhardwaj, as she was unable to close out the match. Kashish stayed focused and stroked with conviction, to seal the match 6-1, 7-5.
The results (semifinals):
Junior Billie Jean King Cup: India beats Vietnam
India beat Vietnam 2-0 in the play-off match for minor placings in the Asia-Oceania Junior Billie Jean King Cup under-16 girls tennis tournament in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, on Thursday.
In the next match for the 9-12th places, India will play New Zealand.
Host Kazakhstan, Australia, Korea and Japan reached the semifinals, beating Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan and Thailand respectively.
The results (Play-off 9-16)-
AITA Super series juniors: Aarjun Pandit enters finals
Aarjun Pandit fought his way past Deepam Malik 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5 in the semifinals of the AITA super series junior tennis tournament at the Tennis Vidyalaya on Thursday.
In the final, Aarjun will challenge top seed Rian Sharma.
The girls final will be between Tamanna Takoria and Ridhima Singh.
Shotgun World Cup- Prithviraj Tondaiman loses
Prithviraj Tondaiman came up with a perfect fifth round of 25 to keep himself in the reckoning for a semifinal berth, but lost the shoot-off after being tied with three others on 119 for the last three spots, in men’s trap in the shotgun World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday.
Tondaiman, who had won the bronze medal in the earlier World Cup this season in Doha, had a series of 22, 25, 24, 23 and 25 that put him in the ninth place in a strong field of 119 shooters.
Zoravar Singh Sandhu and Olympic quota winner Bhowneesh Mendiratta shot 116 each and were placed 16th and 21st respectively.
Asian Games silver medallist Lakshay Sheoran, shooting in the RPO section, managed to reach a total of 109.
In women’s trap, Shreyasi Singh and Rajeshwari Kumar had identical score of 108, and were placed 20th and 24th respectively. Preeti Rajak scored 106 and placed 30th among 61 shooters.
18-year-old Geoffrey Emmanuel first Indian in FIM World JuniorGP World Championship
Five minutes into the conversation, it becomes clear that Geoffrey Emmanuel is no ordinary teenager.
Not only does he know what he wants, but also what he must do to get there – lead a disciplined life with focus only on training.
It is not really a surprise that come Friday, this 18-year-old Chennai boy will become the first Indian to participate in the FIM World JuniorGP World Championship. The opening round of the Moto3 feeder series, organised by Dorna Sports, is scheduled for May 5-7.
A measured response is what one gets when asked about the impending race.
“I have been improving a lot. I am not sure of my chances, too early to say. But I think it may not be too bad,” he said.
Emmanuel said his day starts early.
“With long bicycle ride that helps me improve my balance. I go on to do some physical and mental training. When I can, I also ride the motorbike with other teammates,” he said.
No, he does not miss doing things that most teenagers do. “I started training when I was 13. Perhaps it is because I watched my father, Emmanuel Jebaraj, winner of seven national titles, do it, or because I had the company of my brother, it became quite natural for me to focus on training.” Incidentally, his brother, 17-year-old Johann Reeves Emmanuel, is taking part in the FIM JuniorGP European Talent Cup, slated for the same weekend as the World JuniorGP.
“My brother is the more outgoing type. I have always been reticent. Occasional movies and cricket matches were enough for me to chill out. I love listening to rap before I get into the track. It pumps me up,” added Emmanuel.
Things fell into place, said Emmanuel, when he was picked by Cuna De Campeones, which has produced the likes of 2020 World champion Joan Mir, Jorge Martin, Pedro Acosta and many top-notch riders, to represent him.
“I moved to Valencia in Spain for training a year ago. My father or my mother came to help me occasionally, but mostly, I managed on my own. From this year, my brother will be joining me, so it will not be that lonely,” said Emmanuel.
Apart from rigorous training, moving to Europe also meant Emmanuel had access to a mental coach. “Mental strength is very important for racing. Ideally, there should be absolutely no fear of crashing, but we are humans and it is only natural that we should be nervous about it.
“The first two laps, when the riders are at close proximity, are very dangerous. This is why coaching is essential. Basically, I will be training my mind with the help of the coach to remain calm and unagitated.
“If I am nervous, I am likely to make deadly mistakes. When my mindset improved, my riding improved too,” said Emmanuel.
FIM JuniorGP World Championship, comprising seven rounds, is a junior class race event that runs under FIM Moto3 regulations and acts as a Moto3 World Championship feeder class.
India’s Chouhan lies tied fourth in Abu Dhabi in Challenge Tour event
India’s latest golf star, Om Prakash Chouhan put himself in tied-fourth position after the first round of the UAE Challenge, the second of the two-event swing of the European Challenge Tour in Abu Dhabi.
Chouhan, winner of the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge in Bengaluru in March, shot 3-under 69 and was two shots behind sole leader, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez of Spain, who finished strongly on the ninth with two birdies in his last three holes and carded 5-under 67.
He had two eagles, one each on Par-4 10th, where he started his round, and on Par-5 15th.
Brandon Stone, a multiple winner on the DP World Tour, and Conor Purcell carded 4-under 68 each to be 4-under and tied for second.
Chouhan, 36, a multiple winner on the PGTI Indian Tour, which recently went into an alliance with the DP World Tour, had five birdies, including three in a row from 10th to 12th, against two bogeys for his 69.
Chouhan is currently 11th on the Road to Mallorca Order of Merit for Challenge Tour, from where the top-20 go to the DP World Tour the following year. He could also get into the DP World Tour if he tops the Indian PGTI Tour, so there are multiple options for him to get to the main Tour.
The current leader on the PGTI Indian Tour, from where the Order of Merit winner earned a DP World Tour card for the following year, Chouhan birdied second and fifth and three in a row from 10th to 12th. He dropped shots on the sixth and 13th.
There were as many as 10 players, including Ugo Coussad of France, who were tied fourth at 3-under 69.
Also, in this 10-man crowd at tied fourth place were Manuel Elvira, Benjamin Herbert and Daniel Young and five others. Elvira had one of the most eventful rounds with six birdies and an eagle against five bogeys, including three in a row from fourth to sixth.
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