Fenesta National sub-junior c’ship: Shanker, Rishitha win U-16 titles; Prisha bags U-24 crown
Shanker Heisnam played a crafty all-court game to outwit V Thirumurugan 6-1, 6-2 in the under-16 boys final of the Fenesta National sub-junior tennis championship at the DLTA Complex on Saturday.
The left-hander Thirumurugan had the game, but not the consistency to trouble the athletic opponent.
Rishitha Basireddy was equally efficient in taming Aishi Bisht 6-4, 6-3 for the under-16 girls title. Rishitha had endured four three-set matches along the way in a draw of 64 and was quite sharp in the final to allow any room for a fight for her opponent. Rishitha had saved match points and won from being 1-5 down in the decider against Harithashree Venkatesh in the quarterfinals.
Top seed in the under-14 boys event, the wiry Hruthik Katakam proved a hard nut to crack for the giant killer Prakaash Sarran. Hruthik won 6-4, 6-3 and that was a compliment for Prkaaash’s ability to fight.
For, Hruthik had dropped only 10 games in all in winning the earlier five matches. He had also won the doubles title with Tavish Pahwa.
Prisha Shinde had little difficulty in winning the under-14 girls’ title against Anandita Upadhyay.
The Business Head of Fenesta, Saket Jain, highlighted the commitment of DCM Shriram group to support tennis for more than three decades and presented the trophies along with renowned coach Balram Singh.
– Kamesh Srinivasan
$15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament: Second seed Florent beats Ishaque to lift title
Second seed Florent Bax of France beat Ishaque Eqbal 6-3, 7-5 in the final of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the Ahmedabad City Tennis Foundation courts on Saturday.
Except for being stretched to three sets by third seed Sidharth Rawat in the semifinals, it was smooth sailing for the Frenchman. It was the second singles title in the professional circuit for the 24-year-old Bax, who served nine aces and converted four of 10 breakpoints in the final.
– Kamesh Srinivasan
Shanghai Masters 2023: Bopanna and Ebden duo advances to final
Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden beat Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul of France 7-6(0), 4-6, [10-2] in the doubles semifinals of the $8,800,000 ATP Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, China, on Saturday.
The fourth-seeded Indo-Aussie pair will play seventh seeds Marcel Granollers of Spain and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina in the final.
– Kamesh Srinivasan
AITA National Series Junior Tennis Tournament: Tanishq Jadhav wins double crown
Tanishq Jadhav won a double crown in the AITA National Series junior tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Saturday.
In the under-18 boys final, Tanishq beat Akshat Dhull 6-3, 7-5. Tanishq won the doubles title in partnership with Jatin Nain.
Ananya Dhankar won the girls title beating Shatakshi Choudhary in the final in straight sets.
-S. Prasanna Venkatesan
Arjun Balu powers to victory in Touring Cars race
Veteran Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) scripted a master class as he shrugged off fading light and a drying track following afternoon showers to win the only race of the day in the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship at the Madras International Circuit, here on Saturday.
Balu, the 48-year-old multiple champion from Coimbatore, who had qualified P3, made a great start and overtook Ritesh Rai, the private entrant from Chennai, by Turn-2 in the opening lap and never looked back. His vast experience was in evidence as he tip-toed past the water puddles around the track with a near-flawless drive and had something to spare at the finish. While Rai came in second, Mumbai’s Biren Pitawalla (N1 Racing) completed the podium.
Behind the ITC cars on the combined grid, Deepak Ravikumar led a podium sweep for Performance Racing, in the Indian Junior Touring Cars class, with Akkineni Anand Prasad and Srinivas Teja following him home.
Mumbai’s Zahan Commissariat drove well to take the honours in the Super Stock category to snap a six-race win spree of TS Diljith (DTS Racing), who finished second ahead of Jarshan Anand (DB Motorsport).
During the pre-lunch session, Bengaluru’s Aditya Swaminathan, in his debut single-seater season, grabbed the pole position in the MRF Formula 2000 category. Another Bengalurean, Chetan Surineni, topped the charts in the MRF Formula 1600 qualifying session.
Pune’s Diana Pundole, a mother of two, qualified for pole position in the MRF Saloon (Toyota Etios) category as did Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) in the Formula LGB 1300 class.
Provisional results (8 laps)
Directorate General, NCC puts 16 past JB Shah English Medium School in Steelbird 40th Nehru sub-junior hockey tournament
Pawan Kumar (7) and Kiratpreet Singh (5) helped Directorate General, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Jalandhar, to a 16-0 victory over JB Shah English Medium School, Modasa, in a league match of the Steelbird 40th Nehru sub-junior hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium, Delhi on Saturday.
The results (league):
– Kamesh Srinivasan
Macao Open: Gaganjeet Bhullar set for another Top-10 finish
Gaganjeet Bhullar, India’s most successful player on the Asian Tour, returned a card of five-under 66 to be tied 10th with five others at the end of round three at the SJM Macao Open here on Saturday.
A former champion at this event, Bhullar, who has three top-5 finishes in the last four starts on the Tour, had a three-putt bogey on Par-5 12th, as he also holed six birdies to aggregate 11-under 202 at 71-hole course.
Bhullar is, however, 11 shots behind Australian table-topper Min Woo Lee, who was on fire, adding 65 to 62-64 from his first two rounds to get to 22-under.
Second-placed Poom Saksansin (64) of Thailand is 20-under, followed by Korea’s Jaewoong Eom (65) at 18-under.
As for the other Indians, Honey Baisoya was also tied at tenth after a Round of 69, which followed 68-65 in the first couple of rounds.
Ajeetesh Sandhu, who opened the week with 63, shot 70 in the second round and repeated that in the third to be T-16, while S Chikkarangappa (70-67-70) is 6-under and T-39th with Kartik Sharma, who after 66-65 dropped with 76 in the third round.
Angad Cheema (67-70-71) is T-48 Yashas Chandra (70-68-73) is T-58.
Bhullar was 3-under for the front nine and went 4-under with a birdie on the 11th before he dropped his lone bogey of the day on Par-5 12th. He made up with birdies on the 15th and 18th for 66.
Baisoya had five birdies against three bogeys, two of which came on the first and second, but he recovered well.
While Min Woo was superb in his 65, Poom went one better, with an impressive 64 at the Macau Golf and Country Club followed by Korea’s Jaewoong Eom (65). He had a brilliant eagle on the 18th.
New Zealand’s Ben Campbell (68) and Meenwhee Kim (69) from Korea are four strokes further adrift, with both tied at fourth.