Preethi Gokhale dazzles with two more titles

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CHAMPIONS: The winners — Rashien Samuel (under-18), Preethi Gokhale (under-16) and Rohan Gaonkar (under-16) — of the AITA talent series tournament.
CHAMPIONS: The winners — Rashien Samuel (under-18), Preethi Gokhale (under-16) and Rohan Gaonkar (under-16) — of the AITA talent series tournament.

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Fifteen-year old Preethi Gokhale ended her campaign in the KEF Holding AITA Talent Series championship in a blaze of glory with a three-title haul here.

Preethi, who had won the girls under-18 singles title on Thursday, added two more to her kitty by winning the under-16 singles and the under-18 doubles title (partnering S.P. Ritu).


The under-16 final failed live up to the promise as Ritu, who was on medication because of fever, failed to come up with her normal game. Preethi, who called the shots with barrage of winners on her strong forehand, raced to take the first set at 6-0 and sealed the tie with a 6-3 win in the second.

Ritu provided some resistance towards the end. Trailing 2-5, she broke Preethi in the eighth game but failed to hang on as she dropped the serve and tie with a double fault.

Earlier, Preethi partnering Ritu won the under-18 doubles title, beating Vidya Bharath and Shruthi Narayani 9-4 in the best of 17 contest.

“Nice to start the the season with three titles and I look forward to more such wins,” said Preethi, who trains at Tennis Guide under Bhat.

Rashien Samuel emerged the boys’ under-18 singles champion as his rival Om Dalvi conceded the final, after losing the first 1-6, because of an injury in the right foot.

It was pretty evident that all not was to well with Dalvi as he began the final in a dismal fashion by dropping the serve in the second game when he slammed a backhand into the net and followed that up with a double fault.

Rashien rode on remorselessly with that break and led 5-0 before closing out the set at 6-1. Dalvi took a medical time out , but later offered to concede the tie.

The results (finals, all from Karnataka unless specified): Boys: Under-18 singles: Rashien Samuel bt Om Dalvi (Mah) 6-1, concd. Girls: Under-16 singles: Preethi Gokhale bt S.P. Ritu 6-0, 6-3. Under-18 doubles: Preethi & Ritu bt Vidya Bharath & Shruthi Narayani 9-4.

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