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Updated: January 17, 2014 04:54 IST

National grasscourt: Ashwin springs a surprise

Amitabha Das Sharma
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BIG SCALP: The unseeded Ashwin Vijayaraghavan (in pic.) toppled Vijay Sundar Prashanth in the quarterfinals. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
The Hindu BIG SCALP: The unseeded Ashwin Vijayaraghavan (in pic.) toppled Vijay Sundar Prashanth in the quarterfinals. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Unseeded Ashwin Vijayaraghavan of Andhra Pradesh produced the biggest upset in the men’s singles draw by ousting top seed N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth of Tamil Nadu in the quarterfinals of the National grass-court tennis tournament at the South Club on Thursday. 

Prashanth, who topped the pre-tournament hierarchy after riding on some good results in the ITF circuit last season, started well against his unseeded opponent. He won the first set 6-4 with an early break of serve that earned him a 2-1 lead, and built on the advantage.

Vijayaraghavan displayed strong nerves in the second set where he negated an early advantage gained by Prashanth, who forged into a 2-0 lead. Vijayaraghavan prevailed 7-4 in the tie-breaker to wrest the initiative from the top seed.

This worked in his favour as Vijayaraghavan broke Prashanth in the fourth game of the decider to take a 3-1 lead.

The Andhra player held on to win the set 6-3 and ensured a semifinal berth after a two hour and 20 minute battle.

Vishnu through

Third seed and former champion Vishnu Vardhan, another former Andhra player currently representing Tamil Nadu, got the better of unseeded Suraj Prabodh of Karnataka.

Interestingly, Vishnu Vardhan will take on giant-killer Vijayaraghavan in a battle for the title round.

The other semifinal will feature second seeded Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash of Tamil Nadu, who breezed past seasoned Nitten Kirrtane of Maharashtra, and fourth seeded Chandril Sood of Uttar Pradesh.

Vaishnavi in last four

In the women’s section unseeded Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy of Andhra Pradesh made short work of eighth seeded Nithyaraj Baburaj of Tamil Nadu 6-1, 6-0 to make it to the semifinals. She will take on former champion Rushmi Chakravarthi.

The other last four clash will feature Bhuvana Kalva of Andhra and Natasha Palha of Goa.

The results (quarterfinals):

Men’s singles: Ashwin Vijayaraghavan (AP) bt Vijay Sundar Prashanth (TN) 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3; Vishnu Vardhan (TN) bt Suraj Prabodh (Kar) 6-3, 6-4; Chandril Sood (UP) bt Rupesh Roy (Ben) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3; Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash (TN) bt Nitten Kirrtane (Mah) 6-2, 6-3.

Women’s singles: Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy (AP) bt Nithyaraj Baburaj (TN) 6-1, 6-0; Rushmi Chakravarthi (TN) bt Sharmada Balu (Kar) 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-5; Bhuvana Kalva (AP) bt Nidhi Chilumula (AP) 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-4; Natasha Palha (Goa) bt C. Sai Samitha (TN) 6-3, 6-0.

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