Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Ram Kumar of Chennai defeated second-seeded Vinod Gowda of Karnataka 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to set up a title clash with top seed Rashien Samuel in the Malleswaram Association-AITA Champion Series U-14 tennis tournament at the club courts here on Thursday.

In an engrossing contest, the 11-year-old Ram Kumar was trailing 2-4 in the second set after losing the first. But, he rallied hard, belting steady groundstroke winners and clinched the set in a tie-breaker. He went on to seal the match with a break in the tenth game of the decider.

Rashien Samuel convincingly beat fourth-seeded C.M. Kiran 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

In the girls' final, top seed Sharon Paul of Tamil Nadu will take on eighth-seeded Sansitha Nandakumar. Sharon outclassed fourth-seeded Bhavana Suresh of AP 6-0, 6-3, while Sansitha humbled eighth-seeded Raveena Shetty 6-3, 7-5.

Nikki Gargi of Andhra Pradesh and Rachita Sarda of Karnataka bagged the girls' doubles title with a 7-5, 2-6, 10-8 victory over Sharon Paul and Sansitha Nandakumar. After the match was evenly poised at one set all, the decider was played on a super tie-breaker as per the new AITA rules.

The results: Boys: Singles (semifinals): Rashien Samuel (Kar) bt C.M. Kiran (Kar) 6-3, 6-3; R. Ram Kumar (TN) bt Vinod Gowda (Kar) 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Girls: Singles (semifinals): Sharon Paul (TN) bt Bhavana Suresh (AP) 6-0, 6-3; Sansitha Nandakumar (TN) bt Raveena Shetty (Kar) 6-3, 7-5.

Doubles (final): Nikki Gargi (AP)/Rachita Sarda (Kar) bt Sharon Paul (TN)/Sansitha Nandakumar (TN) 7-4, 3-6, 10-8.

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