Initially, the big names in Indian men's tennis had drawn the sport lovers to the DLTA complex to watch the hardcourt national championships. However, all eyes have shifted focus to the women's event where a young 15-year-old and a former champion have been making waves.
Isha Lakhani, whose last minute decision to enter the Fenesta Open national tennis championship resulted in playing the qualifying rounds, reached the semifinals on Thursday after a battle. The former champion of this very tournament, who mostly coaches now, took three sets to defeat old foe Sheethal Goutham 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Up break points in the first, Lakhani was unable to capitalise on the opportunities and gifted away the first set. However, getting back her concentration the 26-year-old ran away with the next two, to set up a semis date with Soujanya Bavishetti.
Meanwhile, young Rutuja Bhosale has been turning heads from the very first day when she ousted the top seed. Battling a left hamstring injury, the Asian junior champion beat Prarthana Thombare 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the last-four stage.
In the men's draw, top seeded Vishnu Vardhan hardly needed much effort to get past SV Abhishek 6-2, 6-3 while second-seeded Yuki Bhambri defeated Ankit Sachdeva 6-1, 6-3. Vardhan will take on Mohit M Jayaprakash in the semis.