Mahak Jain beats Zeel Desai, makes final

Playing with punch and determination, the diminutive Mahak overcame a 2-4 deficit in the first set, and bounced back from being down an early break in the decider to make the final.

Mahak Jain (left) reaches for the hand of Zeel Desai whom she beat in three sets to make the women's under-21 tennis final at the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune on Wednesday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Two-time national women’s tennis champion, 17-year-old Mahak Jain took another purposeful step forward as she beat Zeel Desai 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the under-21 women’s semifinals of the Khelo India Youth Games at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday.

Playing with punch and determination, the diminutive Mahak overcame a 2-4 deficit in the first set, and bounced back from being down an early break in the decider to make the final.

Zeel who has slipped in rank in the international circuit, was a bit tentative and lacked the confidence even though she fought well in the decider.

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In the final, top seed Mahak will be challenged by the former Asian junior champon Mihika Yadav.

In the men’s under-17 section, Aryaan Bhatia gave a lot to cheer for host Maharashtra as he pipped top seed Sushant Dabas in three sets on the centre court, which had recently hosted the ATP Maharashtra Open. In the final, he will play Dev Javia who beat fourth seed Krish Patel
in the third set tie-break.

In the men’s under-21 event, the players on the professional circuit, Nitin Kumar Sinha and Manish Sureshkumar set up a semifinal. The other semifinal will be between Dhruv Sunish who beat top seed Ishaque Eqbal and Paramveer Singh Bajwa who recovered from the first set loss to beat Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam.
 

The results:

Men:

Under-21 (quarterfinals): Dhruv Sunish bt Ishaque Eqbal 6-4, 4-6, 6-3;
Paramveer Singh Bajwa bt Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3;
Manish Sureshkumar bt Sai Kartheek Ganta 6-1, 2-0 (retired); Nitin
Kumar Sinha bt Faisal Qamar 6-1, 6-3.

Under-17 (semifinals):
Aryaan Bhatia bt Sushant Dabas 7-5, 3-6, 6-2;
Dev Javia bt Krish Patel 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(1).

Women:

Under-21 (semifinals):
Mahak Jain bt Zeel Desai 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Mihika
Yadav bt Kaavya Sawhney 6-3, 6-3.

Under-17 (quarterfinals):
Gargi Pawar bt Anjali Rathi 6-2, 6-7(4),
6-3; Priyanshi Bhandari bt Vanshika Choudhari 6-2, 6-2; Prerna Vichare
bt Sruthi Pandithurai 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5); Laksmi Sai Reddy bt Sanjana
Sirimalla 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.