National C’ship: Prinkle Singh stuns Mihika Yadav

Qualifier Prinkle survived two match points to down her accomplished opponent in the first round.

Prinkle Singh (in picture) defeated Mihika Yadav 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6).   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Qualifier Prinkle Singh thrived under pressure, surviving two match points to beat seventh seed and Asian junior champion Mihika Yadav 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6) in the women’s first round of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Tuesday.

Ranked a modest 896 on the ITF junior list - her opponent, Mihika, who played three of the four Grand Slams this season, was ranked 32 - Prinkle moved smartly into her strokes to execute them with conviction. The 16-year-old Prinkle recovered from being down 1-4 in the decider but missed two match points on Mihika’s serve in the 10th game. She saved two match points later in the tie-break at 4-6 before Mihika brought the curtains down on her challenge with a double fault.

Read: Kirrtane tames Kannan

Coach Rishi Sachdeva of Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) was proud of the way Prinkle handled a quality player with remarkable composure, despite the swings in fortune. The hard-earned victory in two hours and 38 minutes could possibly mean a quarterfinal entry in the women’s event for Prinkle, as her opponent Yubarani Banerjee tore an ankle ligament during her junior match and writhed in pain on court, with cries of pain that shook the complex.

Yubarani was able to walk later, but the physio would be able to advise her on Wednesday whether she could risk playing. Quite interestingly, the AITA rules do not allow a player to compete that week after retiring from a match, but the women’s event is being played under the ITF rules which have no such restriction.

Nithya Raj beats Akshara Iska

In another interesting women’s match, fourth seed Nithya Raj recovered from being down 0-6, 1-4 to beat qualifier Akshara Iska 0-6, 6-4, 6-3. Qualifier Humera Shaikh bounced back after losing the first set to beat Neeru Rapria.

Former men’s champion Mohit Mayur was in explosive form with his big serves and intimidating forehand as he outclassed qualifier Anirudh Chandrasekar to set up a second round against third seed Kunal Anand.

Asian junior champion Nitin Kumar Sinha overcame a slow start to beat P. C. Vignesh in three sets. The match spanned two hours and 40 minutes. In another intense battle, qualifier Calvin Golmei beat Shaikh Abdullah in three sets.

Two-time runner-up and title favourite, Arjun Kadhe was too good for sixth seed Jatin Dahiya, who had made the national grass court quarterfinals.

The results

Men (first round): Arman Bhatia bt Abhishek Gaur 7-6 (9), 6-4; Siddhant Banthia bt Kunal Vazirani 6-1, 7-6 (6); Mohit Mayur bt Anirudh Chandrasekar 6-3, 6-1; Paramveer Singh Bajwa bt Yuvraj Singh 6-2, 6-4; Nitin Kumar Sinha bt P. C. Vignesh 2-6, 6-2, 6-1; Calvin Golmei bt Shaikh Abdullah 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-3; Arjun Kadhe bt Jatin Dahiya 6-1, 6-1; Hardeep Singh Sandhu bt Tarun Anirudh Chilakalapudi 6-3, 6-4.

Women (first round): Shreya Gulia bt Prakriti Banwani 6-3, 6-2; Humera Shaikh bt Neeru Rapria 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; Sara Yadav bt Nikita Bishnoi 6-4, 6-1; Bhuvana Kalva bt Shruti Gupta 6-1, 6-0; Moulika Ram bt Adrija Biswas 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Prerna Bhambri bt Snehal Mane 6-0, 6-1; Prinkle Singh bt Mihika Yadav 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6); Tanisha Kashyap bt Srishti Das 6-3, 6-0; Nithya Raj bt Akshara Iska 0-6, 6-4, 6-3; Mahak Jain bt Sathwika Sama 6-4, 6-3; Sai Samhitha bt Shreya Tatavarthy 6-4, 6-1.

Boys (second round): Nitin Kumar Sinha bt Yugantar Vyas 6-0, 6-0; Nikit Reddy bt Arjun Honnappa 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; Krishan Hooda bt Shivank Bhatnagar 6-2, 6-3; Sacchitt Sharma bt L. Bathrinath 6-3, 6-4; Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy bt Boopathy Sakthivel 6-4, 6-1; Shubham Malhotra bt Kaivalya Vamanrao Kalamse 6-3, 6-4; Sanket Tomar bt Kevin Mrugesh Patel 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4); Fardeen Qumar bt Rithvik Choudary Bollipalli 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-2; Mritunjay Badola bt Divesh Gahlot 6-1, 6-2; Dev Javia bt Muthu Aadithya Senthilkumar 3-6, 6-1, 6-3; Madhwin Kamath bt Bikramjeet Singh Chawla 6-1, 6-0; Dhruv Sunish bt Dharmil Shah 6-1, 6-0; Rhythm Malhotra bt Theyjo Oges 6-4, 0-6, 6-2; Amit Beniwal bt Sushant Dabas 6-3, 7-6 (5); Calvin Golmei bt Abhishek Shukla 6-2, 6-2; Siddhant Banthia bt Gunjan Jadhav 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

Girls (second round): Akanksha Bhan bt Ishita Singh 6-1, 6-4; Kritika Chhabra bt Mushrath Anjum Shaik 7-6 (8), 6-3; Chandrika Joshi bt Trisha Vinod 6-4, 6-4; Shivani Manjanna bt Sara Yadav 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Salsa Aher bt Shreya Tatavarthy 6-0, 6-0; Sathwika Sama bt Smriti Singh 6-1, 6-3; Sai Dedeepya bt Sonashe Bhatnagar 6-1, 6-4; Prerna Vichare bt Yubarani Banerjee 2-6, 6-4, 4-1 (retired); Humera Shaikh bt Smriti Bhasin 6-3, 6-0; Prinkle Singh bt Sunskrithi Damera 6-2, 6-2; Himaanshika bt Shrivalli Rashmika Bhamidipaty 6-4, 6-4; Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Aaliya Ebrahim 6-3, 6-0; Sravya Shivani bt Tejasvi Kate 7-5, 4-6, 6-1; Bhakti Parwani bt Vidula Reddy 6-1, 6-0; Muskan Gupta bt Vineetha Mummadi 7-6 (0), 3-6, 7-5; Tanisha Kashyap bt Bela Tamhankar 6-4, 6-0.