Khelo India: Manish Sureshkumar books U-21 final berth

Manish in partnership with Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam also won the doubles bronze for Tamil Nadu.

Manish Sureshkumar of Tamil Nadu made the men's under-21 tennis final in the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune on Thursday.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

The minor professionals took over the stage as the television cameras beamed the tennis action ‘live’ in the Khelo India Youth Games at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, on Thursday.

Manish Sureshkumar, quite a strong player, as he showed in beating a string of top players of the country during the Premjit Lal tennis event hosted by the former Davis Cup Jaidip Mukerjea in Kolkata, overcame the resistance from the former Asian junior champion Nitin Kumar Sinha 6-3, 6-2 to make the men’s under-21 final.

Having dropped only two games in all in the earlier two rounds, Manish was quite sharp. Thus, he could subdue the energetic Nitin Sinha with a touch of assurance. Manish had beaten in three sets in the semifinals, on way to the title in the Sri Lanka ITF Futures last year.

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In the final, the 578th ranked Manish will play Dhruv Sunish, who played the ‘’percentage’’ tennis better by his own admission, to beat the talented Paramveer Singh Bajwa in straight sets.

Bajwa, quite an athlete and an entertainer, had the game but not the intensity or concentration to do justice to the stage, against a quality opponent, as he let go the opportunities that he so effortlessly generated right through the match.

Manish in partnership with Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam won the doubles bronze for Tamil Nadu.

In the bronze medal singles match for the women’s under-21 section, Zeel Desai got a walkover from Kaavya Sawhney.

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Zeel in partnership with Vaidehi Chaudhari put Gujarat in the doubles final. The duo will play the Telangana pair of Shrivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty and Humera Shaik.

In the women’s under-17 event, crafty left-hander Priyanshi Bhandari outplayed top seed Gargi Pawar 6-2, 6-2 to set up a title clash with Prerna Vichare.

The results:

Men:

Under-21 (semifinals): Dhruv Sunish bt Paramveer Singh Bajwa 6-4, 6-2; Manish Sureshkumar bt Nitin Kumar Sinha 6-3, 6-2.

Doubles (third place): Manish Sureshkumar/Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam bt Fardeen Qamar/Faisal Qamar 6-3, 7-5.

Under-17 (third place): Krish Patel bt Sushant Dabas 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

Doubles (semifinals): Sushant Dabas/Divesh Gahlot bt Ajay Malik/Nitin Singh 7-5, 2-6, [10-5]; Krish Patel/Dev Javia bt Aman Dahiya/Udit Gogoi 6-3, 2-6, [10-3].

Women:

Under-21 (third place): Zeel Desai w.o. Kaavya Sawhney.

Doubles (semifinals): Vaidehi Chaudhari/Zeel Desai bt Sai Dedeepya/Aditi Are 6-0, 6-2; Shrivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty/Humea Shaik bt Kaavya Balasubramanian/Sai Avanthika 6-0, 6-0.

Under-17 (semifinals): Priyanshi Bhandari bt Gargi Pawar 6-2, 6-2; Prerna Vichare bt Lakshmi Reddy 7-5, 6-4.

Doubles (third place): Sanjana Sirimalla/Sanskriti Damera bt Ishita Singh/Sanya Singh 7-5, 6-2.