COVID-19 scare hits Delhi ITF tournament

Former National champion Niki Poonacha got a walkover into the final, as Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic reported that he was COVID-19 positive.

Without a sweat: Arjun Kadhe and Saketh Myneni with their doubles trophies.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

One asymptomatic case of coronavirus took the sting out of the competition in the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi on Saturday.

Former National champion Niki Poonacha got a walkover into the final, as Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic reported that he was COVID-19 positive.

The fact that the Czech was also in the doubles final with Zsombor Velcz of Hungary meant that top seeds Arjun Kadhe and Saketh Myneni took the winner’s trophy with a walkover.

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It was the third doubles title of the season for the newly-crowned National champion Arjun Kadhe, while it was the second for Saketh, who had won the Lucknow event with Yuki Bhambri.

The 18-year-old Svrcina has been a phenomenal player so far. He had helped the Czech Republic win the Junior Davis Cup in 2017 and had reached a career-high World junior rank of No. 8 in 2018.

In the ongoing tournament, the Czech had won his singles in three sets against third seed Aidan Mchugh of Britain and was quite robust in the doubles on Friday.

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There was only one match played in which fourth seed Oliver Crawford of the US tamed second seed Simon Carr of Ireland 6-4, 6-3.

The results: Semifinals: Oliver Crawford (USA) bt Simon Carr (Irl) 6-4, 6-3; Niki Poonacha w/o Dalibor Svrcina (Cze).

Doubles (final): Arjun Kadhe & Saketh Myneni w/o Dalibor Svrcina (Cze) & Zsombor Velcz (Hun).