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Yuki Bhambri wins first qualifying round in Miami


Davis Cupper Yuki Bhambri sailed past Renzo Olivo of Argentina 6-4, 6-1 in the first qualifying round of the $7,972,535 ATP Masters tennis tournament in Miami.

In the second and final qualifying round, the 107th ranked Yuki, who had reached the third round as a qualifier in Indian Wells, will face wild card Elias Ymer of Sweden who got past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 7-6(9), 6-4.

Ramkumar Ramanathan, however, was beaten 7-6(4), 6-4 by Michael Mmoh of the US in the first qualifying round. Ramkumar collected $2,380.

Meanwhile, Sriram Balaji won two rounds and qualified for the singles event of the $75,000 Challenger tennis tournament in China.

Balaji, who will be competing in the doubles main draw with Prajnesh Gunneswaran, did not drop a set in beating Wang Rui-Xuan of China and Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden.

In the $15,000 ITF women’s tournament in Manama, eighth seed Kanika Vaidya recovered from two breaks down in the decider at 0-3 to beat Valeria Bhunu of Zimbabwe 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Ashmitha Easwaramurthi qualified into the main draw and celebrated that with a double victory in partnership with Tea Faber of Croatia.

The results:

$7,972,535 ATP 1000, Miami, US
Qualifying singles (first round): Michael Mmoh (US) bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-6(4), 6-4; Yuki Bhambri bt Renzo Olivo (Arg) 6-4, 6-1.

$75,000 Challenger men, Qujing, China
Qualifying singles (second and final round): Sriram Balaji bt Wang Rui-Xuan (Chn) 6-3, 6-2; First round: Sriram Balaji bt Andreas Siljestrom (Swe) 6-3, 7-5.

$15,000 ITF men, Manama, Bahrain
Qualifying singles (second round): Robert Galloway (US) bt Rahul Jaideep 7-6(3), 6-0; First round: Rahul Jaideep bt Pierre Gimla (Fra) 6-1, 6-0; Emir Isik (Tur) bt Avneet Singh 6-1, 6-2.

$15,000 ITF men, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Qualifying singles (first round): Ondrei Styler (Cze) bt Koonwar Gupta 6-1, 6-2; Milos Sekulic (Swe) bt Garry Tokas 6-2, 6-0; Antonio Pruner Neto (Bra) bt Arjun Mahadevan 4-6, 7-5, 6-4; Luca Tomasetto (Ita) bt Bharath Srinivasan Parthasarathy 6-0, 6-0.

$15,000 ITF men, Reus, Spain
Qualifying singles (third and round): Zakhar Trapeznikov (Rus) bt Venkata Gnana Bhaskar Paramatmuni 7-5, 6-3; Second round: Venkata Gnana Bhaskar Paramatmuni bt David Ayguavives (Esp) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1; First round: Venkata Gnana Bhaskar Paramatmuni bt Sevan Kelpentidjian (Sui) 6-2, 6-4.

$15,000 ITF women, Manama, Bahrain
Singles (first round): Kanika Vaidya bt Valeria Bhunu (Zim) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Tea Faber (Cro) & Ashmitha Easwaramurthi bt Hanna Grace Espinosa (Phi) & Stanzi Stuijt (Ned) 7-5, 6-4.

Qualifying singles (first and final round): Ashmitha Easwaramurthi bt Kalpaka Pradip 6-0, 6-0.

$15,000 ITF women, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Qualifying singles (third and final round): Karolina Kubanova (Cze) bt Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 3-6, 7-5, 6-3; Second round: Irina Cantos Siemers (Ger) bt Bhuvana Kalva 7-5, 6-3; Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy bt Corina Mader (Sui) 7-5, 6-4.


Udit Gogoi top seed in Road to Wimbledon


Udit Gogoi is the top seed in the Road to Wimbledon boys event to be staged on the grass courts of the Gymkhana Club here from Tuesday.

The tournament, featuring 16 players, will be played on a league cum knock-out basis.

The players have been divided into four groups of four each. The top two players from each group will qualify for the knock-out phase.

The best two players from the event will qualify for the UK under-14 championship to be staged on the grass courts of Wimbledon in August.

It may be noted that, from the girls event in Kolkata, played last week, Sanjana Sirimalla and Renne Singla have qualified for the UK under-14 championship.

The groupings:

Pool-A: Udit Gogoi, Monil Rohit Lotlikar, Jasmeet Duhan, Arjun Gohad.

Pool-B: Aman Dahiya, Hasith Srujan, Krishang Raghuvanshi, Deep Munim.

Pool-C: Chirag Duhan, Arunava Majumder, Anchit Gogoi, Ayushmaan Arjeria.

Pool-D: Vishesh Janish Patel, Sukhpreet Singh Jhoje, Saheb Sodhi, Ajay Singh.


Another event in Kerala for the Indian players to step it up

The ITF men’s Futures caravan moves to the clay courts of Thiruvananthapuram this week, offering yet another opportunity for the Indian players to improve their status on the ATP computer.

With Prajnesh Gunneswaran having left for a Challenger in China, after having won the last event in Chandigarh, the onus will be on Arjun Kadhe, Vijay Sundar Prashanth, Karunuday Singh and Aryan Goveas to sustain the Indian challenge as far as they physically manage.

With one of the qualifying matches, in which Sivadeep Kosaraju leads 6-3, 5-5 against seventh seed Linh Giang Trinh of Vietnam, yet to be finished, the qualifers have not been placed in the main draw.

However, in the main draw, Asian junior champion NItin Kumar Sinha, Arjun Kadhe, Jayesh Pungliya, Yu Hisnag Chiu of Chinese Taipei, Aryan Goveas, GS Sanjay, Thales Turin of Brazil and Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam will all get qualifiers in the first round.

In doubles, the champions of two events this season, Arjun Kadhe and Vijay Sundar Prashanth have been seeded second, behind the Brazilians Caio Silva and Thales Turini.

The seedings: 1. Carlos Boluda-Purkiss (Esp), 2. Nam Hoang Ly (Vie), 3. Arjun Kadhe, 4. Vijay Sundar Prashanth, 5. Sam Reinwein (Ger), 6. Karunuday Singh, 7. Manuel Pena Lopez (Arg) , 8. Aryan Goveas.

The results:

Qualifying singles (second and final round): Suraj Prabodh bt Jarry Woog (US) 6-2, 6-4; Kunal Anand bt Dhruv Sunish 6-1, 3-6, 6-1; Stanislav Poplavskyy (Ukr) bt Anvit Bendre 7-5, 7-6(0); SD Prajwal Dev bt Arpit Sharma 6-0, 6-1; Olly Sadler (Nzl) bt Tejas Chaukulkar 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5); Anirudh Chandrasekar bt Rishi Reddy 6-2, 6-4; Vasisht Cheruku bt Niki Poonacha 6-1, 6-2.

First round: Suraj Prabodh bt Tarun Anirudh Chilakalapudi 6-1, 7-5; Jarry Woog bt Ansu Bhuyan 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Kunal Anand bt Kunal Vazirani 6-3, 6-4; Dhruv Sunish bt Ajay Pruthvi Nemakal 6-2, 6-2; Stanislav Poplavskyy bt Amarnath Arora 6-4, 6-4; Anvit Bendre bt Gokul Suresh 6-3, 7-5; SD Prajwal Dev bt BR NIkshep 6-4, 6-2; Arpit Sharma bt Suresh Dhakshineswar 6-4, 6-4; Tejas Chaukulkar bt Hardeep Singh Sandhu 6-2, 6-2; Olly Sadler bt Nithin Mohanan 6-2, 6-2; Anirudh Chandrasekar bt Sidhan Naieem Mohammed 6-1, 6-1; Rishi Reddy bt Lawrence Bataljin (Aus) 6-3, 5-4 (retired); Linh Giang Trinh (Vie) bt Gautham Krishnan Ramesh 6-4, 6-3; Sivadeep Kosaraju bt Alex Solanki 6-4, 7-6(4); Niki Poonacha bt Ramakrishnan Rangaraju 6-2, 6-2; Vasisht Cheruku bt Mohit Bhardwaj 6-1, 6-2.


Sanjana Sirimalla and Renne Singla qualify for UK under-14 championship in Wimbledon

Sanjana Sirimalla beat Renne Singla 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final of the Road to Wimbledon girls tournament in Kolkata.

Both the players, who emerged triumphant from a field of the top-16 players in the country, qualified for the UK under-14 championship to be staged on the grass courts of Wimbledon in August.

Unlike the previous years that featured a few legs before the Masters event for the top-16 from the circuit, it was a simple format this time, possibly owing to a budget cut.

The players competed on a league format and the top two from each group made it to the knock-out stage that started with the quarterfinals.

Sanjana, who is coached by coach Sanjay Kumar at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) courts in Hyderabad, stayed undefeated through the tournament. She dropped one set to Renee Singh in the semifinals.

Renne Singla who trains with coach Vinod Kumar at the Panchshila Club in Delhi was equally impressive till she lost a close battle against the taller and stronger Sanjana in the final.

The boys event will be held in Delhi next week, with Udit Gogoi and Aman Dahiya as the top two seeds.

The results (final): Sanjana Sirimalla bt Renne Singla 7-6(4), 6-4; Semifinals: Sanjana Sirimalla bt Renee Singh 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; Renne Singla bt Vaishnavi Adkar 6-1, 6-0; Quarterfinals: Sanjana Sirimalla bt Kristi Boro 6-4, 6-1; Renee Singh bt Naisha Srivastav 7-6(5), 6-4; Renne Singla bt Bhumika Tripathi 6-4, 6-2; Vaishnavi Adkar bt Sweta Samanta 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.


Pool-A: Sanjana Sirimalla bt Sai Bhoyar 6-0, 6-0; Sanjana Sirimalla bt Bhumika Tripathi 6-0, 6-3; Sanjana Sirimalla bt Ishita Jadhav 6-1, 6-0; Bhumika Tripathi bt Sai Bhoyar 6-1, 6-2; Bhumika Tripathi bt Ishita Jadhav 6-1, 6-2; Ishita Jadhav bt Sai Bhoyar 7-5, 6-0.

Pool-B: Vaishnavi Adkar bt Naisha Srivastav 4-6, 6-1, 6-0; Vaishnavi Adkar bt Anjali Rathi 6-1, 6-4; Vaishnavi Adkar bt Poorvi Bhatt 6-3, 6-0; Naisha Srivastav bt Anjali Rathi 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5; Naisha Srivastav bt Poorvi Bhatt 6-3, 6-2; Anjali Rathi w.o. Poorvi Bhatt.

Pool-C: Renne Singla bt Kristi Boro 6-4, 6-4; Renne Singla bt Ria Washimkar 6-0, 6-1; Renne Singla bt Sanvi Ahluwalia 6-2, 6-1; Kristi Boro bt Ria Washimkar 7-5, 6-2; Sanvi Ahluwalia bt Ria Washimkar 6-1, 6-2.

Pool-D: Renee Singh bt Yana Dhamija 6-1, 6-1; Renee Singh bt Radhika Mahajan 6-2, 6-0; Renee Singh bt Sweta Samanta 4-6, 6-1, 6-1; Sweta Samanta bt bt Yana Dhamija 6-1, 6-3; Sweta Samanta bt Radhika Mahajan 6-3, 6-2; Yana Dhamija bt Radhika Mahajan 6-3, 6-1.


Ankita Raina wins first title of 2018 – the $25,000 ITF tournament in Gwalior

India’s top-ranked tennis player Ankita Raina on Sunday won the $25,000 ITF tournament in Gwalior after beating France’s Amandine Hesse in straight sets.

The fourth-seeded Indian beat the second-seeded Frenchwoman 6-2, 7-5 in a match that lasted an hour and 25 minutes. Doing so, Raina avenged her loss to Hesse in the $125,000 Mumbai Open last year.

Hesse, ranked 216 in the world, faltered with her first serves in the final, getting only 52% of them in while Raina was far more accurate with 80%. The 25-year-old Indian, ranked 255th in the world, also remained unbroken throughout the final.

This was Raina’s first final of the 2018 season and she ended it with a trophy. Her cause was helped by the fact that her semi-final opponent, Yana Sizikova, had retired from the match with dizziness after trailing 2-6, 0-4. Raina had even received a walkover from USA’s Monica Robinson in the quarter-finals.

Raina has progressively worked her way up the ITF circuit after starting in 2009. She has now won six singles titles and done well in China, one of the toughest places to succeed in Asia. She has also played during the grass-court season in Europe, with Porsche Open being one the highlights.