Vijay Sunder Prashant of Tamil Nadu and Shweta Rana of Delhi were given the top billing in the men’s and women’s singles main draw of the National grasscourt tennis championships, which gets underway at the South Club lawns on Monday.
With the defending champions in the men’s and women’s sections — Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina — opting out, the tournament will see a new champion this season. Another Tamil Nadu player Vishnu Vardhan is expected to be one of the prime contenders for title in the men’s section.
The other prominent names include J. Mohit Mayur of Tamil Nadu and the last year’s runner-up Saurav Sukul of Bengal. Interestingly, there were no pull outs from the direct acceptances or the wild cards issued before the tournament, heightening the prospect of keen contest in the men’s section.
The women’s section also has a few prominent names including Natasha Palha of Goa, Bhuvana Kalva of Andhra Pradesh and C. Sai Samitha of Tamil Nadu, apart form top seed Shweta.
Main draw seedings: Singles: Men: 1. Vijay Sunder Prashant (TN); 2. J. Mohit Mayur (TN); 3. Vishnu Vardhan (TN); 4. Chandril Sood (UP); 5. Kunal Anand (Del); 6. Nitin Kirttane (Mah); 7. Saurav Sukul (Ben); 8. Lakshit Sood (UP).
Women: 1 Shweta Rana (Del); 2. Natasha Palha (Goa); 3. Nidhi Chilumula (AP); 4. Sharmada Balu (Kar); 5. Bhuvana Kalva (AP); 6. C. Sai Samitha (TN); 7. Rushmi Chakravarty (TN); 8. Nithyaraj Baburaj (TN).
The results (qualifying finals): Men: Ronak Manuja (Mah) bt Rahul Sadhwani (Guj) 6-2, 6-2; Siddharth Rawat (UP) bt Bisplab Das 6-2, 6-0; Tejas Chaukulkar (Mah) bt Manab Chakma (Asm) 6-2, 6-1; Rishabh Rama (AP) bt Arpit Sharma (Raj) 6-3, 6-4.
Women: Aaryali Chavan (Mah) bt Priyam Periwal 6-3, 6-0; Sonal Phadke (Mah) bt Sagarika Phadke (Mah) 6-3, 6-2; Arushi Bhasin (Del) bt S.K. Rehaman (AP) 6-0, 6-0; M. Arthi (TN) bt Anjali Thakur (MP) 6-0, 6-4; Kanishka Chawla (Mah) bt Sudeshna Sen (Dli) 6-2, 6-4; Srijita Ghosh bt Nikitha Tirdala (MP) 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-2; Soumya Vij (Guj) bt Sudeshna Sen (Ben) 6-1, 6-1; G.S. Vasavi (TN) bt S. Raj Krutika (Kar) 6-0, 6-2.