Karnataka’s BR Nikshep continued his fine run by winning the RT Narayan memorial AITA under-16 National Series tennis tournament here at the KSLTA courts on Sunday.
The top seed in the tournament, Nikshep, was expected to be challenged by the ninth-seeded Rian D Pandole but won 6-3, 6-2 in straight sets in a match that lasted close to 100 minutes.
In the girls’ category, the second seed R Abhinikka took even less time in despatching the top seed Snehal Mane to win the summit clash 6-4, 6-0.
Nikshep set the tempo by breaking Pandole in the very first game of the match and soon ran up a 4-0 advantage before closing the first set 6-3.
The Karnataka lad did not allow Pandole to settle into any kind of rhythm and also had the measure of his serves.
The match was following a similar pattern in the second set and despite Pandole breaking Nikshep’s serve to raise hopes of a comeback, the latter broke back immediately to take the set and the tournament.
After the match, Nikshep said he was not unduly worried as he was in the control throughout the match.
“Though Pandole played well, I was not unduly worried as I was very much in control.” He also said that he was delighted to win his first national title on his home court.
Nikshep gained 75 ranking points because of the win.
In the girls’ final, Snehal was leading 3-1 in the first set when Abhinikka upped the ante to win four games in a row before taking the first set 6-4. Snehal couldn’t recover from that setback and got bagelled in the second set.
Abhinikka also got 75 ranking points for the win.