Indian Sports Wrap, November 18: Ramkumar exits Challenger event in Japan in quarterfinals

Here are all the major developments from Indian sports on November 18, 2022.

File Photo: Ramkumar Ramanathan.

File Photo: Ramkumar Ramanathan. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Here are all the major developments from Indian sports on November 18, 2022.


Ramkumar knocked out of Challenger event in Japan

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan went down in straight sets against local player Yosuke Watanuki in the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger event in Kobe, Japan.

World No. 289 Ramkumar lost 5-7, 1-6 to seventh-seeded and World No. 196 Watanuki in an hour and nine minutes.

In the Challenger event in Champaign, USA, the third-seeded Indian duo of N. Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan defeated compatriot Anirudh Chandrasekar and his Australian partner Adam Walton 7-6 (8), 2-6, [10-4] to reach the semifinals.

Balaji and Nedunchezhiyan will next face top seeds Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico and Robert Galloway of the US in the final-four clash.

- Team Sportstar

ITF men’s tournament: Digvijay overcomes slow start to defeat Sidharth Rawat

Digvijay Pratap Singh overcame a slow start to beat sixth seed Sidharth Rawat 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the MSLTA Complex on Friday.

In the semifinals, Digvijay will play Ryuki Matsuda of Japan who beat Siddharth Vishwakarma in straight sets.

Top seed Oliver Crawford was ruthless as he dismissed Niki Poonacha for the loss of two games to set up his semifinal against fourth seed Dominik Palan of the Czech Republic.

In doubles, Rithvik Bollipalli and NIki Poonacha will look for their fourth successive title when they meet the top seeds Vladyslav Orlov and Vishnu Vardhan in the final.

The results:

Singles (quarterfinals): Oliver Crawford (USA) bt Niki Poonacha 6-2, 6-0; Dominik Palan (Cze) bt Kazuki Nishiwaki (Jpn) 6-1, 6-2; Ryuki Matsuda (Jpn) bt Siddharth Vishwakarma 7-6(6), 6-1; Digvijay Pratap Singh bt Sidharth Rawat 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Doubles (semifinals): Vladyslav Orlov (Ukr) & Vishnu Vardhan bt Faisal Qamar & Nitin Kumar Sinha 6-7(4), 6-1, [10-8]; Rithvik Bollipalli & Niki Poonacha bt Tushar Madan & Jagmeet Singh 6-3, 6-2.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

AITA Super series juniors: Adhiraj Thakur beats top seed Mohammad Asim

Second seed Adhiraj Thakur beat top seed Mohammad Asim 6-2, 6-1 in the boys final of the AITA Super series under-16 tennis tournament at the Singha Sports Academy on Friday.

Adhiraj had earlier won the doubles title with Jasraj Singh Jagdev.

The results (final):

Boys: Adhiraj Thakur bt Mohammad Asim 6-2, 6-1.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

ITF junior tournament: Kriish Tyagi defeats Aayush Bhat

Kriish Tyagi beat Aayush Bhat 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a title clash against Hanu Patel in the ITF grade-4 junior tennis tournament on Friday.

The girls final will be between top seed Sonal Patil and her doubles partner, second seed Margot Phanthala of France.

The results:

Boys (semifinals): Hanu Patel (USA) bt Luc Wieland (Sui) 6-3, 7-5; Kriish Tyagi bt Aayush Bhat (USA) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Doubles (final): Aayush Bhat (USA) & Aman Dahiya bt Aleksandar Daskalovic (Srb) & Luc Wieland (Sui) 4-6, 6-3, [10-5].

Girls (semifinals): Sonal Patil bt Maya Boonyaaroonnet (Tha) 6-2, 6-0; Margot Phanthala (Fra) bt Prisha Shinde 6-0, 6-3.

Doubles (final): Sreenidhi Balaji & Charmi Gopinath bt Margot Phanthala (Fra) & Sonal Patil 6-3, 5-7, [10-7].

-Kamesh Srinivasan


Lucknow: The 34 th Sub Junior National Badminton Championship will be held in Lucknow from November 19 to 23.

Top junior players from across the country representing different states will be participating in the five-day long tournament.

Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Sports in Uttar Pradesh said: “Uttar Pradesh is increasingly becoming the hub of sports and now that the state has adopted badminton and wrestling there is a long way to go.”

-Team Sportstar


Mary Pierce named TSK 25K brand ambassador

Two-time Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce will be the brand ambassador of the 2022 Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, to be held on December 18.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of good health and social life. Running has this transformational experience on individuals and also teaches one to be patient and persevere,” said Mary, who remains the last French player to win the French Open singles (2000).

Registrations for all categories of the seventh edition of the event will remain open until 11.59 p.m. of November 30 or till running places are filled, whichever is earlier. 

-Y. B. Sarangi


Arjun Sharma takes third round lead at Digboi

Greater Noida’s Arjun Sharma shot a steady two-under 70 to move up one spot and take the third round lead at the IndianOil SERVO Masters 2022 golf tournament at the Digboi Golf Links on Friday.

Pune-based Udayan Mane carded the day’s best score of 66 to climb nine places to second position at 11-under 205 at the Rs 75 lakh event.

Delhi’s Kshitij Naveed Kaul posted a 69 to gain two spots and end day three in third place at 10-under 206.

Besides Udayan and Kshitij, there are several other contenders giving chase to the leader on a packed leaderboard.

Five players, including halfway leader Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (74), Pawan Kumar (67), Mithun Perera (68), M Dharma (68) and Sunhit Bishnoi (69) were bunched in tied fourth, just three shots behind the leader at nine-under 207.

Arjun (66-68-70), who registered a career-best runner-up finish on the PGTI in Coimbatore in August, has made a gradual progression during the week, rising from fourth place in round one to second position in round two and then into the lead in round three, thanks to his consistent display.

The 29-year-old Arjun, currently ranked 28th on the PGTI Order of Merit, had a quiet start as he made pars on the first six holes where he didn’t hit it close to the flag. Arjun picked up his first birdie on the seventh but soon lost ground with bogeys on the eighth and ninth where he missed a fairway and a chip-putt respectively.

Arjun regained control on the back-nine after putting together consecutive birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th, where he hit it within three feet on two occasions. He followed that up with good par saves from tough spots on the 17th and 18th. “The front-nine troubled me for the third day in succession. I’m one-over for the front-nine so far this week and 13-under for the back-nine. I think the back-nine is actually the tougher half of the course. So I feel that I need to play the front-nine better in round four, especially the seventh, eighth and ninth holes,” Arjun said.

“I’ve been playing well in the second half of the season starting from Coimbatore, however I just haven’t been consistent enough. But I know the game is there and I just need to keep at it and keep it going.” Udayan (70-69-66) began the day with a bogey on the first but came up with six birdies thereafter till the 14th, including three 20 to 25 feet conversions to roar into contention. The Olympian’s second bogey of the day on the 15th was once again negated by birdies on the 16th and 17th.

Kshitij (65-72-69) mixed an eagle and four birdies with three bogeys during his third round that featured some quality chip-putts. His eagle on the par-5 seventh came after his approach shot from 200 yards landed just one foot from the flag.

Among the prominent names, Khalin Joshi was tied 12th at seven-under 209 while Manu Gandas was placed tied 27th at four-under 212.

Dulal Kalowar, the only local professional to make the cut, was placed 57th at three-over 219.


Amateur Avani wins 15th leg of Hero WPG Tour by massive 13-shot margin

Amateur Avani Prashanth shot a third straight under par score to complete a huge 13-shot win in the 15th and final leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Chandigarh Golf Club here on Friday.

Avani, who has not played very much on the Hero WPG Tour this season as she was busy playing around the world, shot 68-66-70 for a total of 12-under 204.

So dominant was Avani that she had three of the five under par scores registered this week -- the others came from the second placed Gaurika Bishnoi, who shot 70 on the second day and Seher Atwal who shot best round of the final day with a 69, while finishing in a tie for fifth.

Avani had a sedate front nine after opening with a bogey. She then had nine pars in a row with many of the putts not dropping in. She finally found the birdies with back-to-back efforts on Par-3 11th and Par-4 12th.

A bogey on Par-5 13th was a disappointment, but she quickly made up with birdies on the 15th and the 17th for 70.

India’s highest ranked amateur, Avani’s win at Chandigarh follows her twin success on the Hero WPG Tour in 2021 when she won the third and 11th legs of the Hero WPGT.

While the week’s spotlight was Avani, she was followed by Gaurika, the top professional with a final round of 73.

Gaurika had four birdies against three bogeys and a double bogey. She finished with a total of one-over 217.

Sneha Singh (77-72-75) totalled 224, which was 20 shots behind the winner. Sneha was tied with Lakhmehar Pardesi (73-75-76).

Khushi Khanijau, who had a hole-in-one on the Par-3 eighth, carded one-over 73 and was tied fifth with Seher Atwal (69) at 225, while Hitaashee Bakshi (74-76-77) was seventh at 227.

Four players, Saaniya Sharma (77-78-74), Rhea Jha (77-78-74), Afshan Fatima (79-75-75) and amateur Jia Kataria (73-79-77) were tied for the 10th place.

Meanwhile, Pranavi Urs, who is playing at the LPGA Qualifying School this week in the United States, topped the Hero Order of Merit.

Seher Atwal, who was third at the start of the week, finished in a tie for fifth this week and overtook Hitaashee Bakshi to finish second.

Hitaashee was pushed to third on the Hero Order of Merit. Gaurika Bishnoi and Ridhima Dilawari were fourth and fifth respectively.


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