Gritty Vashisht, Zeel grab titles

 Vashisht Cheruku came out with all guns blazing to defeat defending champion BR Nikshep in the Under-16 final of the 20th Fenesta Open National Tennis Championships to clinch the boys singles title at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association Complex here on Saturday.

It was a topsy-turvy contest between the top-seeded Nikshep and Cheruku but in the end the second seed, first saved a match point, and then toppled Nikshep 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in an engrossing battle which lasted two hours and 25 minutes.

In the girls U-16 singles summit clash, Gujarat’s second seed Zeel Desai drubbed Ramya Natrajan 7-5, 6-0 in an hour and 25 minutes. Bangalore’s Cheruku showed great determination as he turned the contest on its head after losing the first set and then coming back from a match point down in the third set.

At the start, however, it was Nikshep who called the shots, breaking Cheruku in the first game and quickly taking a 3-0 lead. Cheruku broke Nikshep back in the fourth game but then dropped serve twice to hand over the advantage.

Results (all finals, prefix denotes seedings): U-16 boys’ singles: 2-Vashisht Cheruku bt 1-BR Nikshep 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.U-14 boys’ singles: Digvijay Pratap Singh bt 1-Siddhant Banthia 6-3, 6-0. U-16 girls’ singles: 2-Zeel Desai bt Ramya Natrajan 7-5, 6-0. U-14 girls’ singles: Sathwika Sama bt Sabhyata Nihalani 6-2, 6-2.

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