Sandeep, Sandeepti are champions of Road to Wimbledon Masters

While V. M. Sandeep outclassed Denim Yadav in straight sets in the boys' final; Sandeepti Singh Rao beat Sarah Dev in the girls' final after a three-set battle.

From left to right: British tennis coach Dan Bloxham, Sandeepti Singh Rao, V. M. Sandeep and Road to Wimbledon tournament director Paul Hutchins.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

V. M. Sandeep and Sandeepti Singh Rao emerged champions of the Road to Wimbledon Masters under-14 tennis tournament on the grass courts of the Delhi Gymkhana Club here on Saturday.

Sandeep, a trainee of coach Uday Kumar Reddy at the Triangle Tennis Trust in Chennai, served and stroked with assurance to outwit Denim Yadav 7-6(3), 6-2 in the boys final.

In a high-quality contest, both boys held their serves to force the tie-break in the first set.

Sandeep, who finished third in the last edition, was the better of the two. He capitalised on the errors of his opponent to have a stranglehold over the proceedings.

A dispirited Denim could not fight at his best in the second set, as Sandeep ran up a 4-0 lead, but made a recovery by breaking serve in the fifth and holding serve thereafter. However, Sandeep cruised to the finish without any further trouble.

The girls final was fought better, as Sarah Dev, quite subdued for the most part with her strokes, forced the super tie-break. However, at 6-6, the enthusiasm and intensity of the bespectacled Sandeepti, who trains with coach Ankit Patel at the Team Tennis Centre in Siri Fort, provided a magical finish for her.

It did not matter much as to who won as the four finalists (from the boys and girls section) had already confirmed their berths in the UK under-14 championship to be played on the grass courts of Wimbledon in August.

In the presence of Tournament Director Paul Hutchins and the British coach Dan Bloxham, the president of the Delhi Gymkhana Club, Lt. Gen. JJ Singh presented the prizes.

The results

Boys (final): V. M. Sandeep bt Denim Yadav 7-6(3), 6-2; Third place: Nishant Dabas bt Krishan Hooda 6-4, 6-7(2), 10-8.

Girls (final): Sandeepti Singh Rao bt Sarah Dev 6-4, 3-6, 10-6; Third place: Aditi Narayan w.o. Akanksha Nitture.