Rastogi tames Liberhan

NEW DELHI, OCT. 7. It was a high quality fare. More than providing a semifinalist, the contest between Karan Rastogi and Tushar Liberhan assured one that the future of Indian tennis was not as bleak as many of us would like to believe.

With his immense experience in the Grand Slams, and the confidence of having been ranked as high as No.4 in the junior world earlier in the year, the 18-year-old Karan handled the crunch like a champion, in taming Tushar 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the men's event of the DSCL National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.

Stroking fluently on either flank, Karan asserted his immense experience by clawing away from a precarious situation, when he was 1-4 down in the tie-break of the first set. A lot depended on that first set, as both the players were trading their best strokes in long rallies much to the entertainment of a big gathering that keenly followed the proceedings on court No.6.

Even as Tushar relented a trifle in pressing the accelerator, Karan came up with the shots that mattered to win six points in a row in clinching that all important tie-break. Thereafter, he was 4-0 up in the second set, as Tushar cracked under pressure.

"It was a superb match. Tushar had the openings after being up 4-1, but tended to play defensive. That proved costly'', analysed the coach of the National Tennis Academy (NTA), T. Chandrasekaran.

Karan will now challenge the top-seeded Aqeel Khan of Pakistan who handled the free-stroking Pathanjali Ravishankar with a touch of assurance, breaking the Chennai lad twice in the first set after an even contest, to ease through.

Radhika bows out

In the women's section,Radhika Tulpule showed that a year away from the game had not affected her much, as she teased the top-seeded Isha Lakhani for nearly two hours and won 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-1.

The results (quarterfinals):

Men: Aqeel Khan (Pak) bt Pathanjali Ravishankar 6-3, 6-4; Karan Rastogi bt Tushar Liberhan 7-6 (4), 6-2; Nitin Kirtane bt J. Vishnu Vardhan 6-4, 6-4; Vinod Sridhar bt Aditya Madkekar 6-2, 6-0.

Women: Isha Lakhani bt Radhika Tulpule 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-1; Sonal Phadke bt Parul Goswami 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; Sandhya Nagaraj bt Liza Pereira 7-5, 6-3; Sanaa Bhambri bt Sheethal Goutham 6-2, 6-1.

Boys: Rupesh Roy bt Ajay Ramaswami 6-3, 6-3; Rahil Makharia bt Alon Moses 6-3, 6-3; Siddharth Gulati bt Rohan Gide 6-3, 7-6 (3); Vivek Shokeen bt Agnel Gladwin 6-3, 6-0.

Girls: Sanaa Bhambri bt Poojashree Venkatesh 6-1, 7-5; G. K. Shweta bt Vandana Murali 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; Parul Goswami bt Pooja Kommireddi 6-2, 2-0 (conceded); Preethi Subramaniam bt Shivika Burman 6-4, 6-4.