Ganapathy, Praneetha score contrasting wins

Special Correspondent
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Winners of the AITA talent series junior tennis championships (from left) P.M. Ganapathy, C.S. Praneetha and R. Srivatsa.
Winners of the AITA talent series junior tennis championships (from left) P.M. Ganapathy, C.S. Praneetha and R. Srivatsa.

Qualifier P.M. Ganapathy of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu's top seed, T.S. Praneetha, scored contrasting victories in the boys' and girls' under-14 singles finals of the AITA Talent Series junior championship conducted by the True Bounce Tennis Academy at its courts here on Friday.

While Ganapathy tamed Statemate Rishi Reddy 6-0, 6-4, the Tamil Nadu girl lost the first set in the tie-breaker but pulled herself up pretty well to subdue the challenge from Shikha N. Singh of Karnataka at 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2.

It was a creditable double for Ganapathy. The 9th standard student cantered away to a 6-0, 1-0 lead before Rishi Reddy made his presence felt on the court.

Rishi tried doing a lot and paid heavily conceding too many negatives.

But once he won the eighth game of the match to level the second set 1-1, there was a definite change in his approach and game. He played some crucial points well and ran up a 4-1 lead. But that was as far as he could go.

Ganapathy, cool and unnerved, played steadily and kept the ball in play for his charged up rival to make the mistakes.

Ganapathy played deep and kept his opponent at the baseline to eventually level the scores at 4-4, then held his serve and broke Rishi on 30 for his maiden singles title, after almost four years in the circuit.

On Thursday, Ganapathy had won the under-14 doubles title partnering K. Hemanth.

Praneetha, the top seed, was involved in a baseline slugfest against Shikha and, in going for the big shots conceded the first set to the Karnataka girl 6-7(3).

However the TN girl outhit her opponent in the second set (7-5) to level the scores and then proved far too good in the decider to win it easily at 6-2 in a match that went on for over three hours.

Chief guest Narendra Raj Singh, a businessman and sports promoter gave away the trophies and certificates.

The results:U-14: Singles:Finals: Boys:P.M. Ganapathy bt Rishi Reddy 6-0, 6-4.

Girls:T.S. Praneetha (TN) bt Shikha N. Singh 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2.

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