On a day when most of the seeded players in girls’ singles progressed to the next round without much fuss, fifth seed Madhurima Sawant had one foot in the exit door at the 29th National Junior U-18 Clay Court Tennis Championship in Chennai on Tuesday.
Playing against the qualifier, and fellow Maharashtrian, Kkaira S Chetnani, Madhurima was trailing 5-6 in the third set and was down 15-40. However, Kkaira, serving for the match, hit two double faults in a row and eventually lost the game. Madhurima clinched the final set and a spot in the last 16 by winning the tiebreak 7-3.
In other matches in girls’ singles, Suhitha Maruri and Vaishnavi Adkar, the top two seeds, began their campaign with easy second-round wins at the SDAT Stadium in Egmore.
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
Having received a bye in the opening round, second seed Vaishnavi routed Samaira Malik 6-0, 6-1 to reach pre-quarterfinal. Later in the day, top seed Suhitha beat Harshini 6-0, 6-4 to book her spot in the last 16.
It was Harshini’s second match of the day. Her first-round fixture against qualifier Shrijana M Thapa could not begin on Monday due to bad light and had to be played early on Tuesday morning.
Fourth-seeded Lakshmi Prabha got off to a solid start with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Rishitha Basireddy of Telangana. Lakshmi, who won the Tamil Nadu State Championship last month after an epic three-and-a-half-hour final, will be up against qualifier Asmi Adkar, Vaishnavi’s sister, in the pre-quarterfinal.
In boys’ singles, top seeds Denim Yadav and Daksh Prasad reached pre-quarterfinals with comfortable straight-sets wins over Navya Verma and Pushkal Srivastava, respectively.