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ATF under-14 tournament: Agarwal, Ahlawat get the better of their partners to win singles gold

Delhi’s Ahlawat wasted no time in showcasing her superiority as within the first few minutes of the contest she found herself a break up. Being broken so early in the game had a negative impact and nearly shook Prapurna’s confidence as she surrendered it 0-6.

pune Updated: Jun 10, 2018 16:52 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
ATF,under-14,tournament
(From left to right) Daksh Agarwal, Manas Dhamne, Veda Prapurna and Shruti Ahlawat with their certificates and awards at the MSLTA KPIT-Arun Wakankar Memorial ATF Asian under-14 series tennis tournament held at the Balewadi sports complex.(SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)

Daksh Agarwal and Shruti Ahlawat won their respective singles finals in straight sets at the MSLTA KPIT-Arun Wakankar Memorial ATF Asian under-14 series tennis tournament held at the Balewadi sports complex. Both the winning finalists squared off against their partners from the doubles event which they had won on Friday, with individual bragging rights at stake for the four finalists.

In the boys’ category, the left-handed Agarwal made an ideal start to the match by winning his first three service games and breaking his opponent twice to rush to a comprehensive 5-1 lead in the first set. After proving to be no match for his doubles partner for the first half an hour or so, Manas Dhamne won following two service games. The fifth seeded lefty held his nerve and won the match 6-4, 6-2 to win the tournament.

After the game, Agarwal said, “Manas is an opponent I’ve known very well. Not only because he is my doubles partner, but also because I have faced him in singles. Today I took advantage of his lack of height and my forehand topspin to win the game.”

On the girls’ side of the draw, third seed Shruti Ahlawat beat her doubles partner and fourth seed Veda Prapurna by a convincing 6-0, 6-3 to get her hands on her twentieth trophy of 2018. Her experience of playing in multiple tournaments across the country gave her an edge and she proved on Saturday just why she is considered as one of the finest u-14 female players in the country.

Delhi’s Ahlawat wasted no time in showcasing her superiority as within the first few minutes of the contest she found herself a break up. Being broken so early in the game had a negative impact and nearly shook Prapurna’s confidence as she surrendered it 0-6. In the second, after having a word with her coach, she managed to play a better brand of tennis, but was still second best to her partner. Things went from bad to worse for Prapurna as she injured her back in the dying stages of the second set. She ended up soldiering herself over the finish line, but the injury could have serious implications and may keep her out of the circuit for a few weeks at least.

Ahlawat said, “I’m really happy with my performance. I found my mojo going into each match and that is what helped me win the tournament.”

Explaining her rigorous training schedule, Ahlawat said, “I wake up at 5 am and leave home by six. After an hour’s travel from Delhi to Gurgaon, I train five hours from 7 am to 12 noon. I stretch for half an hour, eat my meals and then I come back home. In the evenings for an hour I go to the gym. Regarding my academics, I go for tuitions after gym and only visit school during exams.”

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 16:50 IST