Mohit off to winning return

 Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash’s career seemed to have taken off when he won the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championships here last year. Instead, he soon found himself without a sponsor following a fall out with the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).

The lack of sponsorships, he confessed, limited his participation in the tournaments this year. The ranking, too, took a beating as it slumped to 1250 from a career high 826 in May 2012. With the Championships offering a wildcard for the Delhi Open, 2015 and the increased prize money of Rs 3 lakh, Mohit senses in it an opportunity to redeem himself.

The Tamil Nadu boy’s pursuit for the second title on Monday began on a comfortable note when he defeated his senior statemate Mithun Murali 6-4, 6-3. His start in the match, though, was far from ideal. An erratic first set from both the players saw frequent attrition of breaks before Mohit sealed it in his favour by effecting a decisive one in the 10th game.

He found his rhythm in the second set, stroking and serving with power and consistency, and Murali had to work hard to stay with him. His resistance, however, gave away in the eighth game and Mohit swiftly closed the set and match with a rasping backhand down the line.

“It was the first match, so I was a bit nervous initially and made a lot of errors. Changing the racquet helped me. I had been without a sponsor for some time, so I could not participate in a lot of tournaments this year. I have got a favourable draw here. I am here to defend my title and win the wildcard for the Delhi Open,” said Mohit, who awaits the winner of the match between qualifier Saurabh Sukul and lucky loser Vilaser Khate.

 In women’s singles, Manya Nagpal pulled the first upset of the tournament by packing off fourth-seeded Vaniya Dangwal 6-3, 6-2. 

Defending champion Prerna Bhambri, who is in line for a third straight title, however, made a confident start against Renu Sharma, sweeping her aside 6-0, 6-1. Such was Prerna’s grasp that Renu could hold her serve only once, that too in the sixth game of the second set.

Results: Men’s singles: 3-Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash bt Mithun Murali 6-4, 6-3, Kunal Anand bt Aryan Goveas 6-1, 6-2; 7-Chandril Sood bt Ganesh Srinivasan 6-3, 6-2; Ronit Bisht bt Ranjeet Singh 6-2, 6-3; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Ankit Sachdeva 7-5, 6-3. Women’s singles: 3-Prerna Bhambri bt Renu Sharma 6-0, 6-1; Manya Nagpal bt 4-Vaniya Dangwal 6-3, 6-2; Anjali Thakur bt Sanya Madan 6-1, 6-2.

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