National C’ship: A lot at stake for India’s budding stars

At the National tennis championship, which begins at the DLTA Complex on Monday, as many as four former National champions will be vying for the men’s title.

Mohit Mayur (in picture) takes on third seed Ishaque Eqbal in the first round.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Will there be new champions at the Fenesta National tennis championship that begins at the DLTA Complex on Monday?

There could be, especially in the men’s event in which there are as many as four former National champions, including Vishnu Vardhan who came through the qualifying event. Dalwinder Singh, Mohit Mayur and V. M. Ranjeet are the other National champions who want to try bag the trophy one more time.

With the qualifying event running late into the evening, the organisers had not yet placed the qualifiers in the men’s main draw.

There will still be some tough first-round matches, as Mohit Mayur takes on third seed Ishaque Eqbal, while sixth seed Dalwinder Singh meets V. M. Ranjeet.

Second seed Aryan Goveas has drawn the talented left-hander Neeraj Yashpaul in the first round. Niki Poonacha has been seeded No. 1 and will play a qualifier.

‘Well prepared’

In the women’s event, Sowjanya Bavisetti and Bhuvana Kalva have been seeded at the top, ahead of Vaidehi Chaudhari and four-time National champion Prerna Bhambri. “I am well prepared and feel so happy to be able to compete this year, after missing the last few years. There is always so much energy in the National championship and I am looking forward to the matches,” said Sowjanya.

“I am hoping to get back to decent form with some good matches,” said second seed Bhuvana Kalva, who will start against the tenacious Sara Yadav.

Sixth seed Sai Samhitha, a finalist in the past, will start against the player to watch, Rashmikaa Shrivalli Bhamidipaty. Another finalist in the past, Rishika Sunkara will open against eighth seed Sravya Shivani Chilakalapudi.

A lot at stake

With the men’s and women’s winners and runners-up getting equal prize money of ₹300,000 and ₹200,000 respectively, there will be a lot at stake, in the best tournament in the domestic circuit.

The U-18 boys and girls events, held concurrently, may be overshadowed, but it is a great opportunity for the juniors to have a close look at the professionals, while some of them manage to compete in both events.

By hosting the tournament for more than 25 years, the DCM Shriram Group has shown remarkable commitment towards the game in the country.

Over the years, this tournament has served as the launching pad for many champions, and it may not be any different this time.

The results (qualifying final round)
  • Men: Lakshit Sood bt Sahil Gaware 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; Vishnu Vardhan bt Karan Singh 6-1, 6-3; Yash Yadav bt Hardeep Singh Sandhu 7-5, 5-7, 6-3; Chandril Sood bt Deepinder Bains 6-2, 6-1; Sai Karteek Ganta bt Anvit Bendre 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; Vijayant Malik bt Lohith Bathrinath 6-0, 6-1.
  • Women: Akanksha Nitture bt Sai Dedeepya 6-4, 6-2; Sudipta Senthilkumar bt Priyam Kumari 6-2, 6-0; Salsa Aher bt Avishka Gupta 6-2, 6-0; Jagmeet Kaur bt Anaam Almas 7-6 (0), 6-1; Anusha Kondaveeti bt Deepshika Saw 6-1, 6-2; Sharannya Gaware bt Bunty Chongtham 6-1, 6-0; Rashmikaa Shrivalli Bhamidipaty bt Kiran Kalkal 6-0, 6-2; Shreya Tatavarthy bt Dakshata Patel 6-1, 6-1.