Ashutosh, Prajnesh in final

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IN FULL CRY: Prajnesh Gunneswaran led the youth challenge as he prevailed over Navdeep Singh in the semifinals.
IN FULL CRY: Prajnesh Gunneswaran led the youth challenge as he prevailed over Navdeep Singh in the semifinals.

Kamesh Srinivasan

Tame end to Yuki’s campaign

NEW DELHI: Ashutosh Singh put paid to the aspirations of Yuki Bhambri with a clinical fare, but Prajnesh Gunneswaran took charge of projecting the youth challenge as he prevailed over Navdeep Singh in the men’s semifinals of the DSCL National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.

The finalist of 2005, the 25-year-old Ashutosh served and stroked with such ease that he left very little room for the 15-year-old Yuki to manoeuvre his way into the match.

Flying start

Ashutosh got off to a flying start as he played quite sharp. Once he broke Yuki in the second game as the latter delivered a double fault on breakpoint, Ashutosh was in command and did not relent till he raced to a 6-2, 6-3 win in just over an hour.

It was a surprise to find the hero of the last few days, Yuki not being able to put up even a decent fight, but full marks to Ashutosh for demonstrating a classic spell of relaxed intensity.

Ashutosh faced only one breakpoint in the whole match, in the third game of the first set, and came out firing with one of his spectacular backhand down the line winners.

He served six aces and wound up the show in style with one down the middle, after having broken Yuki at love in the eighth game.

Convincing win

In the other semifinal, the 17-year-old Prajnesh continued to highlight his free flowing game and a high degree of concentration as he bounced back after losing the second set to record a convincing victory over the eighth-seeded Navdeep.

The stylish left-hander from Chennai, Prajnesh looked to have preserved his best for the end as he fired four aces, two each in his last two service games for an authoritative finish after having wrested the initiative with a break in the fifth game of the third set.

Having trained in Europe for three months, Prajnesh had the patience to work his way past a seasoned professional.

The results:

Men (semifinals): Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Navdeep Singh 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Ashutosh Singh bt Yuki Bhambri 6-2, 6-3. Doubles (final): Vinod Sridhar / Vishnu Vardhan bt Vivek Shokeen / Ashutosh Singh 6-4, 3-6, 11-9.

Women (semifinals): Isha Lakhani bt Sanaa Bhambri 6-2, 6-2; Rushmi Chakravarthi bt Sonal Phadke 6-4, 6-1. Doubles (final): Rushmi Chakravarthi / Isha Lakhani bt Sanaa Bhambri / Sonal Phadke 7-5, 6-1.

Boys (U-18) (semifinals): Vijayant Malik bt Ronak Manuja 6-0, 6-3; Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Abhijeet Tiwari 6-3, 6-2. Doubles (final): Vijayant Malik / Kinshuk Sharma bt Prateek Bhambri / Ankit Sachdeva 4-6, 6-4, 10-5.

Girls (U-18) (semifinals): Kelsey Sundaram bt Ashvarya Shrivastava 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Tanvi Shah bt Rashmi Teltumbe 6-2, 6-4. Doubles (final): Shivika Burman / Tanvi Shah bt Grace Hannah / V. Archana 7-6(4), 6-2.

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