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.
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