Vasisht and Abinikka bag AITA titles
Top seeds Vasisht Cheruku of Karnataka and R. Abinikka of Tamil Nadu claimed the boys and girls singles titles respectively in the KTPPA-AITA National Series Under-16 tennis tournament here Saturday.
Vasisht, the highest rated player in the boys singles with AITA ranking of No. 11, reserved his best for the final and clinically demolished second seed Mayuk Rawat of Utarakhand at 6-1, 6-2, in 70 minutes and so did Abinikka in the girls final as she outplayed her Tamil Nadu team-mate Rishika Ravi 6-0, 6-2.
There was quite a gulf between Vasisht and Rawat which was all too evident in the final. The 14-year old Karnataka lad, who tops 5 feet 10 inches, virtually towered over his rival in the tie and made very few unforced errors.
Vasisht used his strong forehand and his equally steady double-handed backhand to blunt No.21 ranked Rawat's counter-attack.
Rawat, who trains Hyderabad, shone in patches. He sent down some delectable down the line winners and packed a punch on his forehand, but had trouble with his first serve and was not consistent enough to pose a serious challenge to Vasisht.
Bangalore has been a happy hunting ground for Abinikka who trains under former women's National champion Rushmi Chakravarthi in Chennai. She had won a title at the same venue last month and she did it again with yet another triumphant show.
Abinikka, who is ranked No.7, raced through the first set without dropping a game. But in the second, she was under pressure in the first couple of games as Rishika tested her with series of neat placements.
However, Abinikka, a quick mover and strong hitter, recovered her composure to surge ahead to take the set 6-2.
The victory was special for Abinikka as it came before her family which included her physically challenged younger brother Ajay who cheered her on from his wheel chair.
Rishika, however, had a consolation as she won the doubles title partnering Shivani Manjanna of Karnataka. The duo got a walk over from Punjab pair of Sarah Dev and Baani Singh who conceded the tie and left for home Friday night.
(Posted on 18-01-2014)