Indian sports news wrap, December 21

Here are all the major developments in Indian sport on December 21.

Published : Dec 21, 2022 19:07 IST

Ankita Raina in action.
Ankita Raina in action. | Photo Credit: SRINIVASAN KV

Ankita Raina in action. | Photo Credit: SRINIVASAN KV


Third seed Ankita Raina beat Clara Vlasselaer of Belgium 7-6(3), 6-1 in the first round of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Ganesh Naik Complex on Wednesday.

In the pre-quarterfinals, Ankita will play Japanese qualifier Haine Ogata, who beat wild card entrant Vaishnavi Adkar 6-4, 6-4.

Rutuja Bhosale and Shrivalli Bhamidipaty were the other Indian players to progress into the second round.

Rutuja beat qualifier Farhat Aleen Qamar for the loss of three games, while Shrivalli did not drop a game in the first set after which Riya Bhatia retired owing to an injury.

Shrivalli will challenge Priska Nugroho of Indonesia who beat seventh seed Valeriya Srakhova in three sets.

The results:

Singles (first round): Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt Humera Baharmus 6-1, 6-1; Rutuja Bhosale bt Farhat Aleen Qamar 6-2, 6-1; Valeria Savinykh bt Jennifer Luikham 6-3, 7-5; Ankita Riana bt Clara Vlasselaer (Bel0 7-6(3), 6-1; Haine Ogata (Jpn) bt Vaishnavi Adkar 6-4, 6-4; Ekaterina Yashina bt Weonika Baszak (Pol) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3; Priska Nugroho bt Valeriya Strakhova (Ukr) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Shrivalli Bhamidipaty bt Riya Bhatia 6-0 (retired); Anastasia Kulikova (Fin) bt Ines Murta (Por) 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Ankita Raina & Prarthana Thombare bt Humera Baharmus & Ksenia Laskutova 6-1, 6-0; Haine Ogata (Jpn) & Saumya Vig bt Pooja Ingale & Ishwari Matere 6-4, 3-6, [10-7]; Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers (Esp) & Teja Tirunelveli (USA) bt Smriti Bhasin & Sai Samhitha 6-2, 7-5; Ines Murta (Por) & Vasanti Shinde bt Farhat Aleen Qamar & Akanksha Nitture 6-0, 6-0; Sharmada Balu & Sowjanya Bavisetti bt Soha Sadiq & Sahaja Yamalapalli 6-4, 7-6(9); Shrivalli Bhamidipaty & Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Sravya Shivani & Jennifer Luikham 4-6, 6-4, [10-8]; Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) & Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) bt Anastasia Kovaleva & Daria Kudashova 6-1, 5-7, [10-7].

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Manas Dhamne was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by qualifier Mehdi Sadaoui of France in the first round of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Monastir, Tunisia, on Wednesday.

In the $25,000 women’s event in Tauranga, New Zealandh, Ashmitha Easwaramurthi made the doubles semifinals in partnership with Yuka Hosoki of Japan.

The results:

$15,000 ITF men, Monastir, Tunisia

Singles (first round): Mehdi Sadaoui (Fra) bt Manas Dhamne 6-2, 6-3.

$25,000 ITF women, Tauranga, New Zealand

Doubles (quarterfinals): Yuka Hosoki (Jpn) & Ashmitha Easwaramurthi bt Monique Adamczak & Sophie McDonald 6-3, 7-5.

-Kamesh Srinivasan


Kapil Kumar in action.
Kapil Kumar in action. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Kapil Kumar in action. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Delhi’s  Kapil Kumar shot a brilliant nine-under 63 to take the round one lead at the Rs. 3 crore TATA Steel Tour Championship 2022, the TATA Steel PGTI’s season-ending event being played at the Beldih and Golmuri Golf Courses in Jamshedpur.

Shiv Kapur, a winner of six international titles, struck a 64 to be placed second. Shiv’s round featured an albatross on the par-5 ninth hole where he holed his second shot from 240 yards.

Hyderabad’s Mohd Azhar occupied third place at 65.

The first round of the tournament saw one half of the field play their first nine holes at Golmuri Golf Course and second nine at Beldih Golf Course while the other half of the field played Beldih first followed by Golmuri. This format will also be followed for the next three rounds of the tournament in Jamshedpur with the par for the round being 72.

Kapil Kumar, currently 21 st in the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings with three top-10s to his credit in the season, fired it close to the hole at Golmuri to pick up three of his four birdies on the front-nine from a range of six feet. Kapil, a runner-up in Pune this year, then sank longer putts on the newly-relaid Beldih to pick up three more birdies. He also made a six-feet eagle conversion on the 12 th.

Kapil said, “I got into a good zone after my second birdie of the day on the fourth hole. I was feeling good about my putting at that stage. On the eighth tee, I set myself a target to make birdies on the eighth and ninth so that I can close the front-nine at four-under and then add another four to five birdies on the back-nine to end up with something around eight or nine-under.

“Even after good starts, I tend to lose momentum in the third and fourth rounds. That is something I will look to improve on this week.”

Shiv Kapur, who has been recovering from a rib injury and thus played his first competitive round in over two months, was off to a brisk start with two birdies and an albatross on the ninth at Golmuri. Kapur then added three more birdies at Beldih by sinking a 15-footer on the 11 th and landing his approach within inches of the flag on the 15 th.

Shiv said, “I surprised myself today with my first competitive round in quite some time and my only goal is to get through the four rounds without much pain. I had a steady start. Then on the ninth hole I had a great yardage, I had 240 yards to the flag. The 5-wood took off on a great line and I did not realize till I was halfway up to the green that I had holed it. It was a perfect shot that set up the rest of the day for me.

“I’m obviously rusty as I haven’t had a lot of time to practice. For me right now my golf fitness isn’t at its best but overall I’m feeling good.

“I like the changes at the Beldih Golf Course. The bunkering is very good as it makes you think off the tee as earlier it was a bit too generous off the tee. With the new greens in place, the shots off the rough are not holding and that requires lot of precision.”

TATA Steel PGTI Rankings leader Manu Gandas shot a 66 to be tied fourth along with Udayan Mane and Chikkarangappa.

Among the prominent names, Jyoti Randhawa (67) was tied seventh, SSP Chawrasia (69) was tied 16 th, Ajeetesh Sandhu (70), currently third in the PGTI Order of Merit, was tied 22 nd, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (72), currently second in the PGTI Order of Merit, was tied 36 th, Gaganjeet Bhullar (76) was tied 69 th and Jeev Milkha Singh (79) was tied 73 rd.

The two Jamshedpur-based professionals, Karan Taunk (73) and Kurush Heerjee (75) were placed tied 49 th and tied 66 th respectively.

With a winning purse of Rs. 45 lakh at stake, the biggest-ever on the PGTI, it’s going to be a close contest for the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings title between the top three on the Order of Merit – Manu Gandas, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu and Ajeetesh Sandhu.

-Team Sportstar


Sreenidi Deccan edge past NEROCA FC 1-0

An early second half goal from substitute Ramhlunchhunga proved decisive as Sreenidi Deccan handed NEROCA FC their sixth defeat of the season in an I-League match here on Wednesday.

Sreenidi Deccan collected three points to go to the top of the table with 19 points from nine matches, while NEROCA stayed at 10th with seven points.

The first real chance of the game came to the visitors when Faysal Shayesteh’s deflected shot reached captain David Castaneda Munoz, whose effort ended up hitting the crossbar.

In the 17th minute, NEROCA’s Lunminlen Haokip found some space near the rival penalty area but his effort lacked power as it was easily collected by goalkeeper Ubaid.

Seven minutes later, Phalguni Singh made a run from the midfield, beating his marker and feeding Rosenberg Gabriel, who made a run into the penalty area before taking his shot that was saved by the NEROCA custodian Shubham Dhas.

In the final minutes of the first half, the visitors went close to scoring again but Ashraf Ali Mondal’s shot was saved by Dhas.

A minute into the second half, the visitors broke the deadlock with Gabriel whipping a pinpoint cross from the right to substitute Ramhlunchhunga, who made no mistake to head the Deccan Warriors into the lead.

In their bid to score the equaliser, NEROCA launched a series of attacks but couldn’t create any threatening chances. They went closest to scoring in the 80th minute when Kosimov tried a long-ranger, but it went straight to Ubaid under the Sreenidi goal.


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