PSA Challenger: Vikram Malhotra, Menna Hamed crowned champions

Malhotra asserts his class with a 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5 defeat over Aditya Jagtap. In the women’s final, Sunayna Kuruvilla stumbles to a 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 defeat.

Vikram Malhotra (left) and Menna Hamed with their trophies. Photo: Kamesh Srinivasan

Vikram Malhotra, the top seed, asserted his class with a 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5 victory over Aditya Jagtap, the second seed, in the men’s final of the USD 12,000 HCL PSA Challenger at the Jaypee Greens Sports Complex on Tuesday.

It was the first meeting between the two players. Jagtap expressed a lot of respect for his senior opponent whom he had admired as a junior before pursuing his education in New York. “I played well in the second game, and had chances in the third,” said Jagtap.

Jagtap thanked the organisers for the event and said that it was a “privilege to play at home in front of so many juniors.”

‘Very happy’

Congratulating Jagtap for a good contest, Malhotra said he was happy to get back into the circuit after a lot of doubt. “I am very happy. I thank everyone, my family, coaches. My dad flew down to watch me for the first time, after the junior days,” said the 29-year-old, quite happy with the quality of his game and his physical fitness.

In the women’s final of the USD 6,000 event, Sunayna Kuruvilla started well but was unable to match the crafty game of Menna Hamed of Egypt, who prevailed 11-9, 11-4, 11-6. It was as much a lack of experience as lack of confidence for Sunayna, who had given a good account of herself en route to the final.

SEMIFINAL REPORT

Sunayna had the game, but she often came in the way of her opponent and conceded many points to “stroke.”

“I am looking forward to a better season,” said Sunayna, after congratulating Menna on her good performance, and thanking the organisers for putting up an international circuit at home.

The men’s title was worth USD 2,166 and the runner-up prize was worth USD 1,368. The women’s title was worth USD 1,083 and runner-up, USD 684. The players would lose about 23 percent of the money towards tax deductions.

Shuttler Sikki Reddy, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, was the chief guest. She presented the trophies.

The results (finals)
  • Men: Vikram Malhotra bt Aditya Jagtap 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5.
  • Women: Menna Hamed (Egy) bt Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.