Aishwarya shows Ankita the door

BIG SCALP: .Aishwarya Agrawal, coming back from a prolonged injury layoff, overwhelmed defending champion .Ankita Raina. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish   | Photo Credit: Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Young Aishwarya Agrawal overwhelmed defending champion and second seeded Ankita Raina of Gujarat in the women's singles first round of the National grass-court tennis here at the South Club on Tuesday.

Returning from a prolonged injury layoff, that saw her missing a big part of the previous season, Aishwarya showed fine court-craft and control to get past Ankita in a contest stretched till the decider.

The rest of the seeds, both in men's and women's categories, justified their status making it to the quarterfinal stage.

Women's top seed Shivika Burman of Bengal led the progress of the fancied names with a fluent 6-0, 6-2 win over unseeded Tanisha Rohira of Karnataka. Fourth-seeded Rishika Sunkara and fifth-seeded Gopika Kapoor of Delhi, sixth-seeded Treta Bhattacharya of Bengal and seventh-seeded Preethi Srinivasan of Tamil Nadu dominated their respective opponents to win in straight sets.

The hierarchy in the men's section, which lost top-seeded Vijay Sundar Prashanth and eighth-seeded Ronak Manuja to unseeded opponents on Monday, was spared of any more turmoil as the remaining seeds, led by second-seeded P.C. Vignesh of Andhra Pradesh, made it to the next round.

The number of upsets could well have gone up in the day but for some late recovery managed by the fourth-seeded Ajai Selvaraj (Tamil Nadu) and Yannick Nelord, both of whom had to temper gritty opponents before escaping in the decider.

Selvaraj was taken to task by seasoned Vijay Kannan while Nelord erased a set's deficit to get the better of local challenger Bibaswan Deb.

The 17-year-old Aishwarya, who as a sixth seed had lost in the second round in her maiden appearance in the previous edition of the tournament in December 2009, worked on her powerful returns and serves to put the defending champion on the back foot right from the start.

Aishwarya won the opening set breaking Raina twice but faced stiff resistance in the second as the latter tried to make a comeback.

With nine of the 10 games in the second set going against serve, Ankita levelled the set-scores with the extra break she managed in the final game.

The decider saw Aishwarya holding her nerve as Ankita returned to her erroneous self letting the former win the set and match with the odd break in three.

The results: Men: first round: Abhijeet Tiwari (Chd) bt Surya Pavan (AP) 6-0, 6-2; Yannick Nelord (Del) bt Bibaswan Deb (Ben) 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-5; Mithun Murali (TN) bt Arjun Kadhe (Mah) 6-4, 6-2; Asutosh Singh (Del) bt Abhilash Srivastava (UP) 6-3, 6-2; Ajai Selvaraj (TN) bt Vijay Kannan (TN) 6-1, 6-7(10), 6-4; Shahbaaz Khan (Mah) bt Rajat Maheshwari (Mah) 6-4, 6-2; Maninder Singh (Har) bt Kamal Kumar Suresh (Kar) 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4; P.C. Vignesh (AP) bt Manoj Kumar Sewa (Ben) 6-0, 6-3.

Women: first round: Shivika Burman (Ben) bt Tanisha Rohira (Kar) 6-0, 6-2; Dipti Srivastava (Ben) bt Andrea Das (Ben) 6-3, 6-0; Treta Bhattacharyya (Ben) bt Sagarika Phadke (Mah) 6-0, 6-1; Rishika Sunkara (Dli) bt Arantxa Andrady (Dli) 6-0, 6-1; Preethi Srinivasan (TN) bt Steffi Sanghani (Guj) 6-0, 6-0; Prarthana Prathap (Kar) bt Amala Amol Warrick (Kar) 6-0, 6-3; Mohana Sarker (Ben) bt Indu Puniya (Har) 6-3, 7-5; Aishwarya Agrawal (MP) bt Ankita Raina (Guj) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 7:50:59 AM |

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