National C'ship: Ishaque, Kadhe qualify while Kunal Anand errs on crucial points

Ishaque will next play Jayesh Pungliya who rode on good starts to outwit Paramveer Singh Bajwa 6-4, 6-4.

Ishaque Eqbal in action at the Fenesta National tennis championship in Delhi on Monday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Ishaque Eqbal was at his fighting best as he weathered a battle for two hours and 30 minutes to beat seventh seed Faisal Qamar 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the men’s first round of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi on Monday.

Ishaque was particularly energetic in the decider in which he ran up a 5-0 lead, breaking open the defensive tactics of Faisal who tried to be crafty with his variation and deft touch.

Ishaque will next play Jayesh Pungliya who rode on good starts to outwit Paramveer Singh Bajwa 6-4, 6-4. Jayesh led 5-1 in the first set and 2-0 in the second to sail past the talented opponent.

Top seed Arjun Kadhe, twice finalist in the past, looked to have a fight on hand, but was quite consistent with his game, to win 6-3, 6-1. In contrast, Kunal Anand failed to do justice to his big game as he erred on crucial points, after winning many rounds of applause from the appreciative fans.

In the women’s section, third seed Sai Samhitha was particularly impressive in her fluent win over Nidhi Chilumula. Sai served well and hit her single handed backhand with a flourish to beat Nidhi, who tended to err.

Four-time national champion Prerna Bhambri blanked Neeru Rapria to
warm up for the better matches ahead.

Top seed Zeel Desai tackled lucky loser Vanshika Chaudhary with ease, as she raced to victory for the loss of three games.

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In the junior boys event, Drona Walia from the Shanti Academy in Dehradun, knocked out the second seed and National junior champion Megh Bhargav Patel 7-5, 6-2.

The big serving Shashank Theertha overcame a slow start to beat Denim Yadav 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. He will face Atharva Sharma who knocked out fifth seed Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy 6-2 4-6, 6-4.

Aman Dahiya knocked out Krishan Hooda 5-7, 6-1, 6-0. Sammr Raina was pushed to his wit’s end before he prevailed over Aman Patel 7-6(1), 2-6, 7-6(5).

In the girls section, Riti Agarwal beat qualifier Paavanii Paathak 7-6(1), 7-6(2). Gargi Pawar fought her way past Yubrani Banerjee 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a second round against top seed Salsa Aher.

Later, under the floodlights Yubrani did not have the energy to tackle the defending women’s champion Mahak Jain, and managed to eke out a token game.

The results (first round):

Men: Arjun Kadhe bt Kunal Anand 6-3, 6-1; Jayesh Pungliya bt Paramveer Singh Bajwa 6-4, 6-4; Ishaque Eqbal bt Faisal Qamar 6-2, 4-6, 6-1; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt PC Vignesh 6-1, 7-6(3).

Women: Zeel Desai bt Vanshika Chaudhary 6-2, 6-1; Sai Samhitha bt Nidhi Chilumula 6-2, 6-2; Soha Sadiq bt Seerat Kaur Pannu 6-2, 6-2; Prerna Bhambri bt Neeru Rapria 6-0, 6-0; Sravya Shivani bt Dakshata Patel 6-2, 6-4; Avika Sagwal bt Sai Dedeepya 6-3, 6-4; Mahak Jain bt Yubrai Banerjee 6-0, 6-1.

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