Solanki continues his good run

On a day when top players put up a strong performance, Alex Solanki got past Anvit Bendre to enter the quarterfinals.

Sriram Balaji... strong performance in the pre-quarterfinals.   -  A. MURALITHARAN

Prerna Bhambri ... smooth sailing into the quarterfinals.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Qualifier Alex Solanki extended his good run as he tamed fifth-seeded Anvit Bendre 6-4, 7-5 in the men’s pre-quarterfinals of the Fenesta National Tennis Championship at the DLTA Complex here on Wednesday.

On a day when top players, Sriram Balaji, defending champion Vishnu Vardhan, former champions Mohit Mayur and V. M. Ranjeet, apart from last year’s runner-up Sidharth Rawat, put their strong game on display, the Solanki, 16, got past Bendre, who had played the men’s ITF Futures tournaments recently in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai.

Bendre, who had won the ITF men’s doubles title in Mandya in May with Akash Wagh, took a 4-1 lead in both the sets, but was unable to drive home the advantage, against an opponent who had the strength and craft.

Solanki will have his game and fitness tested further in the quarterfinals against Vishnu Vardhan, who sharpened his strong game against Vlasier Khate.

Ranjeet asserted his class against another qualifier Nitin Kumar Sinha, who had earlier negotiated a tricky Anurag Nenwani for a quarterfinal berth in the under-18 section.

Ranjeet, who had beaten Sriram Balaji, the current top seed, for the National title in 2008, was all praise for Nitin Kumar and said that the Bengal lad, with strong legs and a forceful game, had it in him to win the junior title.

Interestingly, Nitin Kumar will be up against Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy, who got past Shramay Dhawan in straight sets. While Abhimanyu jumped for joy on making the quarterfinals, Shramay responded by smashing his racquet on the court in such a fashion that it went flying to the other side. Referee Puneet Gupta issued a stern warning to Shramay. He also inspected the court to see whether there was any damage to the playing surface.

In the men’s section, lanky Siddharth Vishwakarma missed five match points at 6-1 in the second set tiebreak against Asian Youth Games medallist Garvit Batra, but sealed the match thereafter, to set up a quarterfinal against Sriram Balaji.

Mohit Mayur, not as mobile as he was when he won the title two years ago, will face Sidharth Rawat.

Shaikh Abdullah stopped qualifier Lakshit Sood in straight sets, as the latter was unable to capitalise on leads of 4-1 and 3-0 in the first and second sets respectively. Abdullah will challenge Ranjeet.

In the women’s section, Snehadevi Reddy, Eetee Maheta, Prerna Bhambri, Sowjanya Bavisetti, Riya Bhatia, Shweta Rana, Sai Samhitha and the Asian junior champion, Pranjala Yadlapalli, made it to the quarterfinals.

Three-time champion Prerna stopped Vaidehi Chaudhari, who had endured a tough three-setter while beating seventh-seeded Sabhyata Nihalani in the girls’ event earlier. Prerna dropped only two games, but may have to be at her best on the morrow against the free-stroking left-hander, Sowjanya Bavisetti, seeded No. 5.

In the junior boys’ section, it was a high quality match between second-seeded B. R. Nikshep and Udayan Bhakar. Nikshep, who had lost the under-16 final last year after being on match point, turned the match around from 4-5 in the first set with his fluent all-round game.

The results (pre-quarterfinals):

Men: Sriram Balaji beat Gokul Suresh 6-1, 6-2; Siddharth Vishwakarma beat Garvit Batra 6-2, 7-6 (6); Mohit Mayur beat Rashein Samuel 6-2, 6-3; Sidharth Rawat beat Sai Saran Reddy 6-1, 6-1; Shaikh Abdullah beat Lakshit Sood 6-4, 6-4; V. M. Ranjeet beat Nitin Kumar Sinha 6-0, 6-3; Alex Solanki beat Anvit Bendre 6-4, 7-5; Vishnu Vardhan beat Vlasier Khate 6-4, 6-2.

Women: Snehadevi Reddy beat Samriti Punyani 6-0, 6-1; Eetee Maheta beat Vanya Dangwal 6-2, 6-3; Prerna Bhambri beat Vaidehi Chaudhari 6-1, 6-1; Soowjanya Bavisetti beat Teertha Iska 6-1, 6-3; Riya Bhatia beat Isha Budwal 6-0, 6-0; Pranjala Yadlapalli beat Aarja Chakraborty 6-0, 6-0; Sai Samhitha beat Shivika Burman 6-4, 6-1; Shweta Rana beat Aarthi Muniyan 6-3, 6-3.

Under-18 boys: Aryan Goveas beat Adil Kalyanpur 6-3, 6-4; Manish Sureshkumar beat Siddhant Banthia 6-3, 6-1; Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy beat Shramay Dhawan 6-4, 6-3; Nitin Kumar Sinha beat Anurag Nenwani 6-1, 7-6 (2); Alex Solanki beat Param Pun 6-3, 6-3; Parikshit Somani beat Yugal Bansal 6-1, 7-6 (5); Abhinav Sanjeev beat Aditya Vasisht 6-4, 6-4; B. R. Nikshep beat Udayan Bhakar 7-5, 6-4.

Under-18 girls: Zeel Desai beat Shivani Amineni 6-0, 6-1; Jenifer Luikham beat Harsha Sai Challa 6-4, 6-1; Mahak Jain beat Nida Kamal 6-2, 6-1; Akanksha Bhan beat Vanshika Sawhney 7-5, 6-2; Lalita Devarakonda beat Humeira Shaikh 6-2, 6-2; Prinkle Singh beat Himani Mor 6-2, 6-2; Vaidehi Chaudhari beat Sabhyata Nihalani 4-6, 7-5, 6-3; Sathwika Sama beat Abinikka Renganathan 7-5, 6-0.