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Arun Wakankar memorial U-14 tennis tournament: Doubles finals go the distance as super tiebreakers decide winners

Daksh Agarwal and Manas Dhamne win the boys doubles event while Shruti Ahlawat and Veda Prapurna win the girls doubles event.

pune Updated: Jun 08, 2018 21:45 IST
Pranav Shahney
Pranav Shahney
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Arun Wakankar memorial,Balewadi sports complex
Shruti Ahlawat (left) is all eyes on the ball as Veda Prapurna (right) watches on, at the Balewadi sports complex on Friday.(HT PHOTO)

The third seeded duo of Daksh Agarwal and Manas Dhamne overcame a stern test posed by the favourites, and top seeds, Shivam Kadam and Nithis Baalaji in the boys’ doubles final of the MSLTA KPIT - Arun Wakankar memorial ATF Asian under-14 series tennis tournament held at the Balewadi sports complex on Friday.

Since the first serve, it seemed almost impossible to predict the winner as both teams looked evenly matched in every aspect. They played well off their respective first serves and took the attack to the second serves, ensuring that every game was a nail-biting contest in itself.

With 10 games into the first set, the tie hung in the balance on serve, before the third seeds managed to break to go 6-5 up and won their game on serve to secure the first set 7-5.

In the second set, it was the top seeded pair that came out on top - winning the set with a 5-7 scoreline. Kadam and Baalaji worked in tandem and avoided making the mistakes they made in the first set of the contest, sending the final into a super tiebreaker (first to 10 points win).

The nerves were visible on the two teams when the tiebreaker began. Both teams made unforced errors, but it was the Agarwal-Dhamne duo that managed to hold its nerves and ended up winning the tiebreaker 10-6 to clinch the championship.

The girls doubles final was also decided by a super tiebreaker. The second seeded pair of Shruti Ahlawat and Veda Prapurna toppled top seeds Hetvee Chaudhari and Pari Singh by a 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 scoreline.

The second seeded pair had a strong start to the match and found themselves break ahead early in the first set. It was a lacklustre performance from the tournament favourites and their serves were broken twice, leading to a 6-2 win in the first set for the Ahlawat-Prapurna duo.

However, the favourites bounced back midway through the second set. Singh’s services, which were off the mark in the first set, started causing issues for their opponents. The top seeded pair held their nerve and sent the game into a super tiebreaker after winning the second set 4-6.

In the tiebreaker, both teams looked hungry for the win, with every serve on point. However, once Prapurna secured two points off Singh’s service, she and her partner got the edge needed to win the championship, finishing the tiebreaker with a 10-7 scoreline.

Friends turn foes on Saturday

In an interesting turn of events, both winning pairs in the doubles category (boys and girls) at the MSLTA KPIT - Arun Wakankar memorial ATF Asian under-14 series tennis tournament held at the Balewadi sports complex are set to play against one another in the singles finals on Saturday. Third seed Shruthi Ahlawat, who scripted an easy road to the singles finals will go up against her doubles partner, fourth seed Veda Prapurna in the girls category. The situation is mirrored in the boys singles category as sixth seed Manas Dhamne will go head to head with his doubles partner, seventh seed Daksh Agarwal. Agarwal will go into Saturday’s game having dropped just one set throughout the tournament.

First Published: Jun 08, 2018 21:44 IST