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Sriram Balaji triumphs

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Third seed Sriram Balaji of Tamil Nadu asserted his class by beating Karun Uday Singh 6-1, 6-4 to win the Hindustan Times AITA National series under-16 tennis tournament at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Saturday.

Balaji arrived an hour before schedule as he had not been informed about the revised programme. However, once the match started, he did not waste much time.

Serving well and moving energetically into position for sharp strokes, the lad from Coimbatore dictated terms, especially in the first set when he wrested the initiative by racing to a 5-0 lead.

The title should be a morale-booster for Balaji before the Asia-Oceania junior Davis Cup competition slated to be held in Jakarta after a fortnight.

Karun was unable to be at his best because of the physical strain of having competed in eight matches before the final, including three rounds of the qualifying event. Yet, he could take solace from his ability to dish out some quality fare immediately after his Std X examinations.

The results (finals):

Boys: Sriram Balaji (T.N.) bt Karun Uday Singh (Del) 6-1, 6-4. Doubles: B. Vikram Reddy (A.P.) & Vijayant Malik (Chd) bt Sriram Balaji (T.N.) & Venkat Iyer (Del) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

Girls: V. Archana (A.P.) bt Tanvi R. Shah (Mah) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Doubles: T. Nilaya (A.P.) & M. Divija (A.P.) bt Rashmi Teltumbe (Mah) & Gopika Kapoor (Del) 6-4, 6-1.

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