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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Giant-killer Akanksha Nitture knocks out top-seed to enter tennis final

In the final, Nitture will play local girl, Gargi Pawar, who defeated Bela Tamhankar 6-2, 6-4 in the second semifinal.

pune Updated: Nov 02, 2018 14:56 IST
Jigar Hindocha
Jigar Hindocha
Hindustan Times, Pune
Akanksha Nitture in action during U-18 All India Tennis ranking tournament at Maharashtra Police Tennis Gymkhana, Aundh in Pune
Akanksha Nitture in action during U-18 All India Tennis ranking tournament at Maharashtra Police Tennis Gymkhana, Aundh in Pune(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)
         

Sending top-seeded players packing has become a habit for unseeded Akanksha Nitture. She continued her winning spree defeating top-seed Sudipta Kumar 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinal of the 10th edition of Om Dalvi memorial all-India ranking U-18 tennis tournament. In the final, Nitture will be play local girl, Gargi Pawar, who defeated Bela Tamhankar 6-2, 6-4 in the second semifinal.

For Nitture, who is enjoying a good run at the Maharashtra Police tennis gymkhana courts, the semifinal started well on Thursday with her breaking the opponent’s serve to take 2-0 lead in the first set. Mixing up the backhand and forehand nicely, Nitture kept pushing Kumar backwards with her base-line shots.

Top seeded Kumar, was not able to control her shots and made many unforced errors which allowed Akanksha to surge ahead in the match.Breaking Kumar’s serve in the sixth game, Nitture was looking to wrap up the first set in the next game, but Kumar managed to break back to make it 5-2. “I made a couple of unforced errors in between which allowed her to break my serve,” Nitture told Hindustan Times.

Kumar showed glimpse of form but she was ousted by brilliant net play from the Nitture and lost the first set 3-6. In the second set, Nitture opened up with 2-0 lead before Kumar took two back-to-back games to make it two all.From there onwards Kumar came out attacking and played few good winners, but her inability to control her serves allowed Nitture to stay ahead in the match.“I am not used to playing on clay courts so it was affecting my movements and I made many unforced errors which cost me the match,” said Kumar.

With the set at three games all, Nitture broke Kumar in the seventh game and held her serve in eighth and 10th game to clinch the contest 6-4, in an hour and 55 minutes.“I wanted to control the match from the very beginning and I did that. I had an idea that once I do that my opponent will make mistakes,” added Nitture.

In the boys contest, Aryaan Bhatia will take on unseeded Mohit Bondre of Gujarat in the final Bhatia got better of second seeded Denim Yadav from Madhya Pradesh 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, while Bondre upset top seeded Sushant Dabas of Haryana 7-5, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Results:

Boys:

Semifinals: Mohit Bondre(Guj) bt 1-Sushant Dabas (Har) 7-5, 6-1; 4-Aryaan Bhatia (Mah) bt 2-Denim Yadav (MP) 7-6(8-6), 6-3

Doubles:

Final: Sushant Dabas and Udit Gogoi bt Aryaan Bhatia and Denim Yadav 6-2, 6-3.

Girls:

Semifinals: Akanksha Nitture (Mah) bt 1-Sudipta Kumar (Mah) 6-3, 6-4; 4- Gargi Pawar (Mah) bt 2-Bela Tamhankar (Mah) 6-2, 6-4.

Doubles:

Final: Gargi Pawar and Bela Tamhankar bt Paavanii Paathak and Aaira Sood 6-1, 6-4

Doubles winners

Pune girl Gargi Pawar, won the doubles title pairing up with Bela Tamhankar. The duo defeated Paavanii Paathak and Aaira Sood 6-1, 6-4. In the boys ‘ section Sushant Dabas and Udit Gogoi completed an easy 6-2, 6-3 victory over Aryaan Bhatia and Denim Yadav to take home the title.

Line up for the finals

Girls: Gargi Pawar vs Akanksha Nitture

Gargi Pawar: I am enjoying my game at moment. I hope to continue momentum in the final.

Akanksha Nitture:

I am playing with Gargi since Under-10 age group so it will be a great game. I have beaten her twice in the past.

Boys: Aryaan Bhatia vs Mohit Bondre

Aryaan Bhatia: I want to win this time. He (Mohit) defeated me in the National Series semifinal in Panchgani last year so this time I want to win the final.

Mohit Bondre: Aryaan is a very good player. I will have to give my best to defeat him. I will not make any silly errors in the final.

First Published: Nov 02, 2018 14:52 IST