Lakshit Sood breezes past Kirrtane

While the 24-year-old Lakshit, who has won three ITF men’s Futures doubles titles this season, with his twin brother Chandril, showed considerable patience to fight it out in a battle of wits that lasted three hours, it was commendable that the 41-year-old Nitten energetically matched him in hot and humid conditions.

The 41-year-old Nitten Kirrtane was no match for his significantly younger opponent Lakshit Sood, who won the match 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2.   -  PTI

Qualifier Lakshit Sood tamed former champion Nitten Kirrtane 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-2 in the men’s first round of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Tuesday. While the 24-year-old Lakshit, who has won three ITF men’s Futures doubles titles this season, with his twin brother Chandril, showed considerable patience to fight it out in a battle of wits that lasted three hours, it was commendable that the 41-year-old Nitten energetically matched him in hot and humid conditions. Nitten has been playing the national circuit as much as possible and also featured in the Railways team that won the World Railways tennis title.

He was at his crafty best in turning the first set around from being down 3-5, as he reeled off four games, hardly dropping a handful of points in those four games. In the second set, Nitten broke for 6-5 but could not serve the match out. In the tie-break, Lakshit Sood took a 5-3 lead. Nitten did manage to be on par, but Lakshit pulled ahead. In the decider, Nitten failed to win a game after leading 2-1, but ensured that every game was a fresh battle for the young opponent. Lakshit will challenge seventh seed Shaikh Abdullah in the pre-quarterfinals.

Lakshit’s brother Chandril, however, was beaten by qualifier Nitin Kumar Sinha who was energetic and charged up in the decider. Nitin Kumar will face former champion VM Ranjeet. Defending champion Vishnu Vardhan was given a good work out by the young Manish Sureshkumar, who grew in confidence as the match progressed. Vishnu used the contest to sharpen his net game. There were no surprises in the women’s event, as defending champion Prerna Bhambri pulled her way past qualifier Mihika Yadav after a keenly contested first set. Another gutsy young qualifier Sathwika Sama tried to make a fight of it against fifth seed Sowjanya Bavisetti, in a lively battle between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, but the latter punched her strokes at the right moments to break the resistance of the younger opponent.

Top seed Snehadevi Reddy blanked Sneha Padamata and Eetee Maheta was fluent in her victory over Abinikka Renganathan. In the junior boys section, Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy, who trains with coach Vishaal Uppal, asserted his strong legs and fluent strokes by dismissing third seed Ishaque Eqbal for the loss of four games. He will next face Shramay Dhawan, who sweated it out in three tough sets against SM Aadithya. Aditya Vasisht played the big points better in outlasting sixth seed Dhruv Sunish. In the girls section, Prinkle Singh asserted her staying power in beating Shivani Ingle in an engrossing encounter.