Nat'l grass court c'ship: Vijay Kannan in quarterfinals

Vijay Kannan defeated Yugal Bansal 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 in the pre-quarterfinals.

Vijay Kannan will now face Jatin Dahiya in the quarterfinal   -  Special Arrangement

At his prime, Vijay Kannan had teased the big-serving Rohan Bopanna with his smart game to win the national title. Even at 36, Vijay showed a thing or two about staying sharp on his toes and taking the opponent out of his comfort zone with his fine geometry on court, as he stopped the young Yugal Bansal with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory in the pre-quarterfinals of the State Bank of Patiala National grass court tennis championship at the Chandigarh Club on Wednesday.

A sliced backhand return that caught Yugal napping followed by a silken shot that clipped the tape for another point saw the 17-year-old Yugal lose confidence in his game and dropping serve decisively in the ninth game of the decider. The ONGC employee, Vijay served out the match with an ace, and set up a quarterfinal against Jatin Dhaiya.

In another marathon match that went on for over three hours and 40 minutes, Suraj Prabodh tamed the gutsy Saurav Sukul 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5. The crafty Saurav was cramping in the climax of the third set, but managed to play his best till the end.

In the quarterfinals, Suraj who persists with a single hand backhand, will play Tejas Chaukulkar, while top seed Dalwinder Singh will be challenged by Param Pun. The former national champion and second seed VM Ranjeet will be up against Shahbaaz Khan.

In the women’s section, the top three players Riya Bhatia, Sai Samhitha and Nidhi Chilumula looked a cut above the rest while fourth seed Samriti Punyani surprised Aarushi Kakkar by giving a walkover.

The results:

Men (pre-quarterfinals): Dalwinder Singh bt Sivadeep Kosaraju 6-2, 6-2; Param Pun bt Abhimansu Borthakur 6-4, 6-4; Vijay Kannan bt Yugal Bansal 4-6, 6-0, 6-4; Jatin Dhaiya bt Sathiyaraj Ravishankar 6-3, 6-2; Tejas Chaukulkar bt Ranjeet Singh 6-4, 6-3; Suraj Prabodh bt Saurav Sukul 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5; Shahbaaz Khan bt Faisal Qamar 6-4, 6-1; VM Ranjeet bt Jaydeep Chudasama 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles (quarterfinals): Vilasier Khate & Ranjeet Singh bt Krishna Teja Ankam & Ajay Pruthvi 6-4, 6-4; Param Pun & Hardeep Singh Sandhu bt Mohit Bhardwaj & Nihit Rawal 7-5, 6-3; Armaan Bhatia & Ishaque Eqbal bt Sivadeep Kosaraju & Sathiyaraj Ravishankar 4-6, 6-0, 10-6.

Women (pre-quarterfinals): Riya Bhatia bt Jitasha Shastri 6-0, 6-0; Sara Yaav bt Yubrani Banerjee 6-4, 6-4; Aarushi Kakkar w.o. Samriti Punyani; Seerat Kaur Pannu bt Neeru Rapria 6-4, 7-5; Himani Mor bt Prakriti Banwani 6-1, 6-1; Nidhi Chilumula bt Amrita Mukherjee 6-2, 6-1; Kaavya Sawhney bt Arthi Muniyan 7-6(2), 6-4; Sai Samhitha bt Vasavi Ganesan 6-2, 6-3.

Doubles (quarterfinals): Nidhi Chilumula & Moulika Ram bt Harleen Kaur & Himanshika 6-0, 6-1; Yubrani Banerjee & Neeru Rapria bt Anupreet Bedi & Priyanka Rodricks 6-0, 6-3; Sai Samhitha & Amrita Mukherjee bt Aarushi Kakkar & Kaavya Sawhney 6-2, 6-3.