Tennis

Prinkle punches above her weight

Big win: Prinkle Singh made a mockery of the vast difference in the rankings between her and Mihika Yadav to progress in the women’s singles draw.  

Qualifier Prinkle Singh thrived under pressure, surviving two match points to beat seventh seed and Asian junior champion Mihika Yadav 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6) in the women’s first round of the Fenesta National tennis at the DLTA Complex here on Tuesday.

Ranked a modest 896 on the ITF junior list, as compared to No. 32 for Mihika, Prinkle moved smartly into her strokes and executed them with conviction.

The 16-year-old recovered from being down 1-4 in the decider but missed two match points on Mihika’s serve in the tenth game. She then saved two match points in the tie-break at 4-6, before Mihika committed a double fault to eventually lose.

The hard-earned victory in two hours and 38 minutes could possibly mean a quarterfinal entry for Prinkle, as her next round opponent Yubarani Banerjee tore an ankle ligament during her junior match and writhed in pain on court, with cries that shook the complex.

Yubarani was able to walk later, but the physio will be able to advise her on Wednesday whether she can risk playing.

Quite interestingly, AITA rules do not allow a player to compete the same week after retiring from a match, but the women’s event is being played under ITF rules which have no such restrictions.

In another interesting match, fourth seed Nithya Raj recovered from being down 0-6, 1-4 to beat qualifier Akshara Iska 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Former men’s champion Mohit Mayur was in explosive form with his big serves and intimidating forehand as he outclassed qualifier Anirudh Chandrasekar to set up a clash against third seed Kunal Anand.

Two-time runner-up and title favourite Arjun Kadhe was too good for sixth seed Jatin Dahiya, who had made the national grass court quarterfinals.

The results (first round): Men: Arman Bhatia bt Abhishek Gaur 7-6(9), 6-4; Siddhant Banthia bt Kunal Vazirani 6-1, 7-6(6).

Mohit Mayur bt Anirudh Chandrasekar 6-3, 6-1; Paramveer Singh Bajwa bt Yuvraj Singh 6-2, 6-4; Nitin Kumar Sinha bt P.C. Vignesh 2-6, 6-2, 6-1; Calvin Golmei bt Shaikh Abdullah 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-3; Arjun Kadhe bt Jatin Dahiya 6-1, 6-1. Hardeep Singh Sandhu bt Tarun Anirudh Chilakalapudi 6-3, 6-4.

Women: Shreya Gulia bt Prakriti Banwani 6-3, 6-2; Humera Shaikh bt Neeru Rapria 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; Sara Yadav bt Nikita Bishnoi 6-4, 6-1.

Bhuvana Kalva bt Shruti Gupta 6-1, 6-0; Moulika Ram bt Adrija Biswas 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Prerna Bhambri bt Snehal Mane 6-0, 6-1; Prinkle Singh bt Mihika Yadav 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6).

Tanisha Kashyap bt Srishti Das 6-3, 6-0; Nithya Raj bt Akshara Iska 0-6, 6-4, 6-3; Mahak Jain bt Sathwika Sama 6-4, 6-3; Sai Samhitha bt Shreya Tatavarthy 6-4, 6-1.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 4:00:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/prinkle-punches-above-her-weight/article19792059.ece

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