Saketh Myneni won the trophy for Stag Babolat Yoddhas with suitable support from the young Madhwin Kamath, in an entertaining final against Tennis Fanatics at the RK Khanna Stadium here on Saturday.
The fluency and strategy of the Yoddhas was such that the team was able to close out the match 3-1, with one match to spare on a cold evening, when the fans added to the warmth of the atmosphere.
Shrugging off the lethargy that had creeped into his game, as he was not fully fit at the end of a hard season, Saketh first won the crucial singles 7-6 (10-3) against the energetic Jeevan
Nedunchezhiyan. That was the key to the contest after Madhwin Kamath had given a good start for the Yoddhas by winning the first singles against Kabir Hans.
Fanatics did pull one back right away then, with VM Ranjeet and Kabir Hans combining well to beat the seasoned pair of Vishal Uppal and Mayur Vasant 6-2.
Jeevan had to do it against Saketh, and the doubles specialist did remarkably well to stretch Saketh to the tie-break, in which the latter was a class act. Saketh served so well throughout that match, dropping a mere three points in his six service games, that it was
hard for Jeevan to enact any further heroics.
Saketh was very sharp in the tie-break and ran up a 7-0 lead which put the writing on the wall.
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With Saketh stepping on court with Madhwin Kamath, as compared to Jeevan playing with the veteran Kamlesh Shukla, it was more difficult for the Fanatics to make a match of it any further. Saketh and Madhwin took a 5-1 lead, before Jeevan was able to provide a glimpse of his
prowess on court.
To his credit, Madhwin served out the match, for the Yoddhas to celebrate.
For his outstanding performance, Saketh was presented the ‘’best overall pro’’ award. He had also won the ‘’best Indian player’ award twice in succession in the international Champions Tennis League.
National champion Siddharth Vishwakarma was presented the ‘’best pro’’ for his lively singles game.
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Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan was presented the ‘’most valuable player’’ of the tournament for his rich contribution both in singles and doubles.
Mayur Vasant who defied his age to compete on par with the youngsters was adjudged ‘’best maverick player’’, while Vishaal Uppal was declared the ‘best classic pro’’. Madhwin Kamath won the ‘’best junior’’ award, while NIshant Dabas was adjudged the ‘’most promising player’’.
VM Ranjeet and Kabir Hans were presented the ‘’best doubles team’’ award.
The champion team was presented Rs.200,000.