Third day of the 29th National Junior U-18 Clay Court Tennis Championship at the SDAT Stadium in Egmore, Chennai had a packed schedule that saw as many as eight players play three matches in the space of a few hours.
Denim Yadav, top seed in boys’ singles, beat 15th seed Tanishq Jadhav 6-2, 6-2 in his round of 16 match in an hour and 15 minutes early in the morning. After a little over two hours, both players were back on court in the searing afternoon heat facing each other with Vansh Nandal and Deepam Malik, their respective partners in the round of 16 doubles fixtures.
Highlights of National Junior U-18 Clay Court Tennis Championship
- ⦿Day 6: Kriish Tyagi, Vaishnavi Adkar defeat top seeds to win singles titles
- ⦿Day 5: Madhurima-Ruma pair wins girls doubles title; Denim-Vansh champion in boys doubles
- ⦿Day 5: Kriish Tyagi to face Denim Yadav in singles final
- ⦿Day 4: Sisters Asmi, Vaishnavi storm into doubles final
- ⦿Day 3: Packed schedule on day three tests youngsters
- ⦿Day 2: Exit scare for fifth seed Madhurima; top seeds Suhitha, Vaishnavi through to pre-quarters
- ⦿Day 1: Daksh Prasad digs deep to reach second round
- ⦿Underarm serve, upsets, bad light and the drama of qualifying
Top-seeded pair of Denim and Vansh won 6-3, 6-4 in a tie that lasted roughly one-and-a-half-hours to reach the quarterfinals. Another break of two hours and the Denim-Vansh duo was up against Ritvik Nadikude and Nishit Nilesh Rahane in the last-eight encounter.
“I will probably start getting cramps in the middle,” said Denim, before the match.
The other players who, like Denim, played three matches (one singles and two doubles) on Wednesday were Rahane, Daksh Prasad, Kavin Karthik, Rethin Pranav, Aryan Arora, Hannah Nagpal and Anjali Rathi. Everyone, barring Rahane, got some respite as their final match of the day was stopped midway through the second set due to bad light, a factor which has severely affected the schedule.
“They played one singles and two doubles matches. Playing two doubles in one day is nothing since the average duration of a doubles match has reduced with the introduction of a 10-point-match tiebreak in place of third sets, and deciding points at deuce. Two singles and one doubles match would have been a matter of concern,” said Hiten Joshi, CEO of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, the host of the six-day tournament concluding on August 20.
“It is not like football where the duration is set. If a match goes on for more than three or four hours, we cannot do much,” he added.
Aniket Wakankar, one of the coaches present at the tournament, felt that three matches in a day was not justified. “Three matches in a day are unnecessary. They should have made some arrangement. Players have come from all over the country to give their best. They should have been given more time for recovery,” he said. “From next time, they should keep the delays in mind.”