Ramkumar Ramanathan rivalled the Grimm Brothers in scripting a fairytale week as the qualifier won the under-18 event in the MCC adidas Junior National Championship after downing yet another seeded player, Ronit Bisht, 6-4, 6-3.
Often positioning himself a few feet behind the baseline, Ramkumar set himself up to uncork his fizzing forehand. He tried getting to the net a few times but, finding the approach ineffective, abandoned it to stick to his baseline outpost.
The seventh seeded Bisht did not get enough of his first serves in and Ramkumar repeatedly hit winners off his second delivery.
Bisht, however, wised up to Ramkumar’s reliance on his forehand to win the big points and directed a lot of play to his backhand side. Though it brought temporary respite, Ramkumar’s steady hitting kept the pressure up and took the set.
The second set saw both players trade breaks, but the game followed the pattern of the first where Bisht’s serve let him down and Ramkumar capitalised. Once he got the break in the seventh game, Ramkumar reeled off three successive games to close it out in straight sets.
Ankita Raina hardly broke sweat as she eased to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Prarthana Thombre in the final of the girls under-18 event.
The results (all finals): Boys: Under-18: Singles: Ramkumar Ramanathan (TN) bt Ronit Bishit (Delhi) 6-4, 6-3. Doubles: Ramkumar Ramanathan & Arjun Khade bt Ronit Bishit & Mohit Mayur 6-4, 7-6(4).
Under-14: Singles: Abhishek Alla (AP) bt Shaik Abdullah (AP) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Doubles: Mintri Aayush & Sri Patel Atul bt A.K. Pardha Sarathi & Shashank Nautiya 3-6, 6-3, 12-10.
Girls: Under-18: Singles: Ankita Raina (GUJ) bt Prarthana Thombre (MAH) 6-2, 6-1. Doubles: Sharmada Balu & Aishwarya Aggarwal bt Ankita Raina & Sweta Rana 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.
Under-14: Singles: Sansita Nandakumar (TN) bt K. Bhuvana (AP) 6-3, 6-2. Doubles: Sneha Reddy & Dhruti Venugopal bt Iska Akshara & Jasmine Kaur Bajaj 6-2, 6-3 .