Niki Poonacha played a significant role in helping DMG Delhi Crusaders beat Lucknow Aviators 100-85 in the Pro Tennis League at the RK Khanna Stadium here on Thursday.
Two-time national champion Niki who has been in very good form in the professional circuit beat another former national champion Siddharth Vishwakarma 19-11 in the unique points format.
With matches being played over 15, 20 and 30 points format, every point would count in not only helping the teams beat their rivals but also in the race for the semifinal spots.
Earlier, Delhi was well served by Neeraj Yashpaul as he beat Madhwin Kamath 13-7. Thereafter, Anirudh Chandrashekhar and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan played a spectacular game to beat Siddharth and Madhwin 14-6.
Delhi could have won with a better margin, but Sriram Balaji and Adil Kalyanpur combined very nicely in the last match to be on par 15-15 against Niki and Jeevan.
Diva Bhatia came up with a strong performance for Lucknow by beating Kavya Khirwar 11-4. Aditya Khanna and Jennifer Luikham beat Sravya Shivani and Pradeep Pant 9-6 to fetch some more valuable points for the Delhi side.
In another match, Paramount Proec Tigers beat Bangalore Challengers thanks to the women power of Farhat Aleen Qamar and Sahira Singh, apart from the fine work of Sidharth Rawat and Shivank Bhatnagar. Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali also played mixed doubles with Aleen to beat Sahaja Yamalapalli and Vivek Shokeen 8-7.
Ramkumar Ramanathan won his singles and doubles with Rishi Reddy for Bangalore while Sachi Sharma recorded a 9-6 win over Sahira.
Inaugurating the bigger and better fourth edition of the league with 64 players, Davis Cup captain Rohit Rajpal said that it was an excellent opportunity for the juniors to be with the experienced professionals and take the game forward in the country, even as everyone has fun despite intense competition with the short points format.
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