Ratnika becomes youngest National Champion | sports | Hindustan Times
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Ratnika becomes youngest National Champion

sports Updated: Oct 25, 2008 15:29 IST

Delhi's Ratnika Batra on Saturday became the youngest national tennis champion after outplaying qualifier Shweta Rana in straight sets in a lop-sided final of the women's hard court tournament at the DLTA complex in New Delhi.

The 14-year-old class IX student, Ratnika, who entered the main draw as a wild card, defeated her Himachal Pradesh rival 6-3 6-0 to lift the title.

The victory also won Ratnika a wild card for the USD 10,000 ITF event, to be held in Bangalore in February.

It was perhaps for the first time that the summit clash of a women's national championship was fought between a wild card and a qualifier.

Ratnika, who had won the under-14 and under-16 national championship titles last year, had knocked out two seeded players, including top seed Shalini Sahoo en route to the final.

However, top players like Isha Lakhani, Ankita and Sanaa Bhambri and Rushmi Chakravarthi did not participate in the event as they preferred to play in ITF tournaments abroad.

This took the sheen off the tournament but at the same time it gave youngsters an opportunity to hog the limelight.

Ratnika began on a disastrous note by dropping her serve in the very first game of the match but then went on to win 12 games out of 14.