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Vardhan, Bhatia claim national tennis crowns

sportspaper Updated: Oct 09, 2016 11:12 IST

NEW DELHI: Vishnu Vardhan seemed tense. It’s never easy when one is the favourite to win. There was a lot at stake of course — the Fenesta Open national championship title, the Rs 300,000 prize money and the pressure of being billed the top seed.

He calmed his nerves and got ready to serve. Siddharth Vishwakarma had given him a fight in front of the crowd at the DLTA Complex but ultimately, the 22-year-old fell short. As he hit the return of serve wide, Vardhan raised his arms in triumph. In three consecutive finals here, he became the hardcourt champion for the second time with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Vishwakarma initially matched Vardhan shot for shot much to the joy of the crowd. It was only when Vishwakarma lost his serve that helped Vardhan go up 5-3 and close out the first set in the next game with a second serve ace at 40-0. Soon after that, the seventh seed began to make unforced errors which Vardhan capitalised on.

The women’s draw saw a new champion in four years as Riya Bhatia overcame Eetee Maheta’s challenge to win her maiden national title. The first set went down to the wire; Maheta was even leading 6-3 in the tie break. But the 19-year-old pulled up her socks and went on to win the tie break at 9-7.

After that, it was a matter of time before Maheta’s unforced errors got the better of her to hand Bhatia the title with the second set reading 6-3 in the Delhi girl’s favour.

The boys’ and girls’ U-18 singles crowns were won by Nitin Kumar Sinha and Akanksha Bhan, respectively.

First Published: Oct 09, 2016 11:12 IST