Indian Sports Wrap, November 17: Niki Poonacha knocks out France’s Arthur Weber in ITF men’s tennis tournament

Here are all the major developments from Indian sports on November 17, 2022.

REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: Niki Poonacha in action during a tennis match in Bengaluru.

REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: Niki Poonacha in action during a tennis match in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

Here are all the major developments from Indian sports on November 17, 2022.

TENNIS

Poonacha enters quarterfinals

Mumbai: Two-time national champion Niki Poonacha knocked out the seventh seed Arthur Weber of France 6-4, 7-6(5) in the pre-quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the MSLTA Complex on Thursday.

In the quarterfinals, Niki will challenge the top seed Oliver Crawford who blanked wild card entrant Sandesh Kurale.

The champion of the Delhi event, Digvijay Pratap Singh fought his way past Ivan Denisov of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(3). He will meet compatriot Sidharth Rawat in the quarterfinals.

Former national champion Siddharth Vishwakarma proved too hot for qualifier Faisal Qamar as he cruised into the quarterfinals for the loss of three games. He will face Ryuki Matsuda of Japan.

Karan Singh was unable to thrive on a strong start and lost his way midway through the second set against Kazuki Nishiwaki of Japan.

Rishab Agarwal was unable to sustain a strong fight after the first set against fourth seed Dominik Palan.

The Results:
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Oliver Cawford (USA) bt Sandesh Kurale 6-0, 6-0; Niki Poonacha bt Arthur Weber (Fra) 6-4, 7-6(5); Dominik Palan (Cze) bt Rishab Agarwal 7-6(7), 6-2; Kazuki Nishiwaki (Jpn) bt Karan Singh 4-6, 6-4, 6-0; Ryuki Matsuda (Jpn) bt Bekhan Atlangeriev (Rus) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Faisal Qamar 6-1, 6-2; Sidharth Rawat bt Bharath Kumaran 6-4, 6-2; Digvijay Pratap Singh bt Ivan Denisov (Rus) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(3).
Doubles (quarterfinals): vladyslav Orlov (Ukr) & Vishnu Vardhan bt Gunjan Jadhav & Lakshit Sood 6-2, 6-2; Faisal Qamar & Nitin Kumar Sinha bt Bekhan Atlangeriev & Ivan Denisov (Rus) 6-2, 6-4; Tushar Madan & Jagmeet Singh bt Bharath Kumaran & Rishi Reddy 7-6(6), 3-6, [13-11]; Rithvik Bollipalli & Niki Poonacha bt Rishab Agarwal & Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta 6-3, 6-3.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

AITA Super Series: Divya Ungrish beats 2nd seed Rubani Kaur Sidhu

Jalandhar: Top seed Divya Ungrish beat second seed Rubani Kaur Sidhu 7-6(3), 7-5 to win the girls title in the AITA Super series under-16 tennis tournament at the Singha Sports Academy on Thursday.

In the boys event, Mohammad Asim set up a title clash with Adhiraj Thakur.

The Results:
Boys (semifinals): Mohammad Asim bt Laksh Sharma 6-2, 6-2; Adhiraj Thakur bt Jasraj Singh Jagdev 6-1, 6-4.
Doubles (final): Jasraj Singh Jagdev & Adhiraj Thakur bt Yash Rana & Karen Singh 6-0, 6-3.
Girls (final): Divya Ungrish bt Rubani Kaur Sidhu 7-6(3), 7-5; Semifinals: Divya bt Avishi Sharma 6-2, 6-0; Rubani w.O. Naureen Bhardwaj.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

ITF Juniors: Kriish Tyagi beat Aleksandar Daskalovic to reach semis

Kriish Tyagi beat Aleksandar Daskalovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the ITF grade-4 junior tennis tournament on Thursday.

In the girls section, Sonal Patil, Prisha Shinde made the semifinals among the Indians.

The results:

Boys (quarterfinals): Luc Wieland (Sui) bt Tejas Ahuja 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-3; Hanu Patel (USA) bt Samarth Sahita 6-1, 6-4; Kriish Tyagi bt Aleksandar Daskalovic (Srb) 6-1, 6-3; Aayush Bhat (USA) bt Dhananjay Athreya 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles (semifinals): Aayush Bhat (USA) & Aman Dahiya bt Venkat Batlanki (USA) & Chandan Shivaraj 6-2, 6-4; Aleksandar Daskalovic (Srb) & Luc Wieland (Sui) bt Dhananjay Athreya & Debasis Sahoo 5-7, 6-2, [10-8].

Girls (quarterfinals): Sonal Patil bt Tamanna Takoria 6-2, 6-1; Maya Boonyaaroonnet (Tha) bt Asmi Adkar 6-4, 6-2; Prisha Shinde bt Nandini Dixit 6-0, 4-6, 6-0; Margot Phanthala (Fra) bt Niyati Kukreti 6-2, 6-1.

Doubles (semifinals): Margot Phanthala (Fra) & Sonal Patil bt Suryashi & Tamanna Takoria 6-1, 6-2; Sreenidhi Balaji & Charmi Gopinath bt Kkaira Chetnani & Durganshi Kumar 7-5, 3-6, [10-5].

-Kamesh Srinivasan

GOLF

Yuvraj maintains one-shot lead in SERVO Masters golf

 Reigning champion Yuvraj Singh Sandhu of Chandigarh shot a fine two-under 70 to maintain his one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the IndianOil SERVO Masters 2022 golf tournament at the Digboi Golf Links on Thursday.

Greater Noida’s Arjun Sharma struck a 68 in round two to be placed second at the Rs 75 lakh event.

Sri Lankan Anura Rohana (71) occupied the third place at nine-under 135 while Mysuru’s Aalaap I L (68) was in fourth place at eight-under 136.

The halfway cut went at one-over 145. Fifty eight professionals made the cut.

PGTI Order of Merit leader, Yuvraj (63-70), a 10th tee starter on Thursday, made yet another promising start with an early birdie on the 12th but then stumbled with a bogey on the 13th, where he found the hazard and a double-bogey on the 14th where his ball was plugged in the bunker behind a tree.

Yuvraj, a four-time winner on the PGTI this year, bounced back with a birdie on the 15th and a solid front-nine, where he made an 18-footer for eagle on the seventh and another birdie on the ninth after recovering from the bunker.

“When I started off today the body was a little colder so I was struggling with my ball-striking. Importantly, I hung in there today. I’ll now try to get plenty of rest after today’s round in order to recover fully for the last two rounds,” Yuvraj said.

Arjun (66-68), a runner-up on the PGTI this year, had a terrific back-nine where he sank an eagle and three birdies to stake claim for the lead.

Arjun drove the par-4 14th green to set up an eagle-two as he drained a 15-footer there. He also set up tap-in birdies on 13th and 17th.

His putter then went cold on the front-nine as he missed a few putts and as a result dropped a bogey on the first and couldn’t convert some birdie opportunities on other holes. Arjun also bogeyed the seventh where his drive landed in the hazard.

Among prominent names, Udayan Mane and Manu Gandas were tied 11th at five-under 139 while Khalin Joshi was tied 25th at three-under 141.

Among local professionals, Dulal Kalowar was the only player to make the cut as he totalled one-over 145 to be tied 49th.

-PTI

Avani shoots 66 to take 10-shot lead in 15th leg of WPGT

Avani Prashanth opened up one of the largest 36-hole leads in the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour as she added six-under 66 to her first round card of 68 in the second round here on Thursday.

Amateur Avani, a multiple-time winner on the WPGT, is now 10-under for two rounds. She is 10 shots ahead of the second placed Gaurika Bishnoi (74-70).

Lying another four shots behind Gaurika are last week’s winner, Ridhima Dilawari (73-75) and Lakhmehar Pardesi (73-75) who are tied third.

Sneha Singh (72) had the day’s third best round after Avani and Gaurika. Sneha moved up to fifth while Hitaashee Bakshi (74-76) and amateur Heena Kang (73-77) were tied sixth. Twenty two girls made the cut, which fell at 15-over 159.

The talk of the day was the 16-year-old Avani, who had eight birdies and an eagle against a double bogey and two other bogeys. She had an eagle on Par-5 second and then added birdies on fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes to make the turn in an electric 6-under 30.

The back nine had four more birdies, including one on the 10th for a hat-trick of gains from eighth to 10th. Avani dropped bogeys on 12th and the 15th and a double bogey on Par-4 17th.

In between she had back-to-back birdies on 13th and 14th and later a closing birdie on 18th for a 66.

Though Avani has not won in 2022, she did win twice in 2021. She won the third leg at BPGC, where she had two cards of 67 and then in the 11th leg at Panchkula, she shot 66 in the second round. Last year she was runner-up to Amandeep Drall in Chandigarh.

Khushi Khanijau (77-75) and amateur Jia Kataria (73-79) were tied for eighth at 8-over 152, while Shweta Mansingh, Jyotsana Singh and Siddhi Kapoor were tied for tenth place at 9-over 153.

-PTI

Sharma gives up gains, shoots 73; Fitzpatrick lead in Dubai

Dubai, Nov 17 (PTI) Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma looked on course for a good start, as he was well placed at two-under through 14 holes, before dropping three bogeys to be placed tied 33rd in the DP World Tour Championship here on Thursday.

Sharma, who came to Dubai riding high on a superb third place finish at the high-profile Nedbank Challenge last week, had three birdies against one bogey on fourth before he dropped shots on 15th, 16th, and 17th to go over par for the day.

Three three-putts and a bad shot or two spoilt what could have been a good day for the Indian.

Winner of four Rolex Series events, Tyrell Hatton and reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick share the lead with cards of seven-under 65 each on the Earth Course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Alex Noren of Sweden was sole third with 66, while Spaniard Adri Arnaus shot 67. Last week’s winner Tommy Fleetwood, who has a mathematical chance of winning the Race to Dubai, was among the pack of five tied at 68 each.

Sharma is returning to the DP World Tour Championship for the first time since 2018, when he had rounds of 67-66 on the second and third days before crashing down with a final round of 80.

“Three three-putts, on the fourth, 15th and 16th cost me a lot. Then the ball caught the slope and rolled down after landing on the green on 17th,” said Sharma. “Three days still to go, but this could have been a lot better.” Talking of his previous visit to the event, four years ago, Sharma said, “I am a different and much better player now. More mature and I have a lot more shots.” Fitzpatrick began in a brilliant manner, holing everything from everywhere.

He was five-under through five holes. Though the birdies did not come at a pace anywhere like he would have liked, he still managed two more on eighth and 14th, but most importantly kept bogeys off his card.

Despite winning here twice before, Fitzpatrick’s 65 was his lowest round here.

“I think the biggest thing I’m pleased about today is just hitting 17 greens, and the one I missed, I was a complete idiot. That was the big thing that I was happy about today is that I kept giving myself chances and putted well as well.” The leader, Rory McIlroy, who can win the Race to Dubai rankings only by winning this week, needed a birdie on the last to finish in red number at 1-under 71.

Yet, at the start he looked to be doing fine at three-under through eight holes with four birdies against just one bogey. Then he bogeyed ninth, 12th and 16th to drop to even par before the closing birdie made it under par for the day.

-PTI

SQUASH

Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu beats Lam Shing Fung in PSA Challenger squash tournament

Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu overcame a slow start to beat Lam Shing Fung of Hong Kong 4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6 in the first round of the fourth HCL PSA Challenger squash tournament at the Bodhi International School on Thursday.

Harinder will face fifth seed Harley Lam of Hong Kong in the pre-quarterfinals.

In the women’s event, Sunita Patel got past Pooja Arthi with a 11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9 victory. She will meet eighth seed Aina Orfi of Egypt in the second round.

The results (first round):

Men:Andrik Lim (Mas) bt Wallok To (Hkg) 11-3, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7; Abdelrahman Abdelkhalek (Egy) bt Rahul Baitha 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-1; Velavan Senthilkumar bt Pardeep Malik 11-2, 11-3, 11-1; Andes Ling (Hkg) bt Ravi Dixit 11-6, 11-4, 11-3; Jan Wipperfurth (Ger) w.o. Abdullah Hashim (Irq); Ravindu Laksiri (Sri) bt Jaideep Singh Sethi 11-4, 11-2, 11-4; Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Lam Shing Fung (Hkg) 4-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6; Wee Ming Hock (Mas) bt Krishna Mishra 11-9, 11-7, 11-3.

Women: Nour Wageeh (Egy) bt Yashi Jain 11-2, 11-7, 11-8; Urwashi Joshi bt Bijali Darvada 11-2, 11-1, 11-1; Sunayna Kuruvilla bt Navya Sundararajan 11-2, 11-8, 11-3; Lam Po Ying (Hkg) bt Janet Vidhi 11-7, 11-8, 12-10; Wong Po Yui Kirstie (Hkg) bt Mahak Talati 11-0, 11-2, 11-0; Sunita Patel bt Pooja Arthi 11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9; Nour Khafagy (Egy) bt Wai Sze Wingh (Hkg) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6; Rathika Seelan bt Anjali Semwal 11-7, 11-0, 11-8.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

FOOTBALL

South Korea downs India

South Korea men defeated India 2-1 in the match for the minor placings in the Asia-Oceania blind football championship at the United Sports Centre, Kakkanad, on Thursday.

The result: South Korea 2 (Jang Yeong Jun 2 goals) bt India 1 (Sovender Singh 1 goal).

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