It was redemption time for Mohit Mayur. The bespectacled 20-year-old from Chennai outplayed Arjun Kadhe 6-3, 6-1 in the men’s final of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.
The top-seeded Mohit, who had battled a back problem and has been training with former Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal in Pune of late, caught the 19-year-old Kadhe on the wrong foot time and again in the contest that lasted just about an hour.
Having trained in Spain for long and competed in the tough ITF circuit there, Mohit showed court craft and impeccable shot-selection.
He got off the blocks briskly, breaking Kadhe in the second game, and never let off thereafter.
It was an especially sweet victory for Mohit, as he had lost to Kadhe in the quarterfinals of the last edition. It was good news for the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association that has been supporting him. Mohit ensured that the title stayed with the State — Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan had won the title last time, incidentally at the expense of Kadhe.
“It feels good to win the national title. I expected to play well. Coach Nandan Bal had asked me to go for it and play short points. I am happy with the way I played,” said Mohit, who pocketed the winner’s purse of Rs.150,000.
Kadhe, once again beaten by a better player, had to be content with Rs.100,000.
A closer match
The women’s final was contested a lot better. The 21-year-old Prerna Bhambri successfully defended her title beating Shweta Rana 7-5, 6-2, and announced that she was happy to be fit and playing close to her best against after having struggled with a shoulder injury.
The 20-year-old Shweta Rana finished runner-up for the second time, six years after she had lost to Ratnika Batra.
While Prerna approached the match with assurance, Shweta seemed a tad too anxious to win. The latter did fight well, particularly after a slow start, but lacked the conviction at the crunch.
In the last two games of both the sets, Shweta hardly won any points. In fact, she was broken at love in the 12 game of the first, and again at love when she was serving to stay in the match in the eighth game of the second.
Third-seeded Hardeep Singh Sandhu from Ludhiana clinched the junior boys’ title beating Tamil Nadu’s Mukund Sasikumar 7-6(3), 6-4.
In the junior girls’ final, second-seeded Sai Samhitha failed to capitalise on a 5-4 lead in the first set, but played increasingly well to defeat top seed Simran Kaur Sethi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, in a match that lasted two hours and 40 minutes.
The results (finals): Men: Mohit Mayur bt Arjun Kadhe 6-3, 6-1. Women: Prerna Bhambri bt Shweta Rana 7-5, 6-2.
Under-18: Boys: Hardeep Singh Sandhu bt Mukund Sasikumar 7-6(3), 6-4. Girls: Sai Samhitha bt Simran Kaur Sethi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.