After an intense fight, the winner dropped on the ground exhausted, unable to even take two steps to the net to shake hands with his opponent.
The towering Suresh Dhakshineswar crossed the net to extend a helping hand to fifth seed S.D. Prajwal Dev who won 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-1, in energy sapping conditions in the men’s pre-quarterfinals of the Fenesta National tennis championship here on Wednesday.
However, Prajwal Dev needed medical attention. He will have to recover his energy to challenge top seed Niki Poonacha, who eased past K.S. Dheeraj, on Thursday.
Eqbal gets a lifeline
Ishaque Eqbal was thrown a lifeline by Davis Cupper Vijayant Malik, after the latter had won the first set. Physically much superior and with the hunger to back his ambition, Eqbal won the next two sets for the loss of three games, to set up a quarterfinal against the former national champion Dalwinder Singh.
Kunal Anand scraped through to a tough win over Chandril Sood, and will play the former Asian junior champion Nitin Kumar Sinha.
Second seed Aryan Goveas got a free coaching lesson from Anvit Bendre before he prevailed 7-6(2) in the third set.
In the women’s event, C. Sravya Shivani gave a hint of her form and fitness by taming Akanksha Nitture 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Four-time champion Prerna Bhambri overcame a fluent stroking Arthi Muniyan for the loss of five games, and will face Shreya Tatavarthy.
Salsa Aher was at her stroking best in overcoming seventh seed Yubarani Banerjee in straight sets. She will meet top seed Sowjanya Bavisetti.
In the junior boys’ section, Rohan Mehra wriggled past Aryaan Bhatia 7-6(8), 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals. He will face Chirag Duhan.
In the girls’ section, Pooja Ingale beat third seed Sarah Dev 6-4, 6-3, to set up a quarterfinal against Prerna Vichare.
Bela Tamhankar knocked out fourth seed Vanshika Choudhary 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 and will face Sandeepti Singh Rao.
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