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Delightful double for Rashmi

Special Correspondent



MEMORABLE OUTING: Rashmi Teltumbe, who won a double crown. — Photo: S. Subramanium

NEW DELHI: Rashmi Teltumbe persevered through the day to win a double crown in the DSCL National sub-junior tennis championship that concluded at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.

The Mumbai girl beat Nova Patel of Gujarat in two successive finals, in contrasting styles.

In the under-16 section, Rashmi, a trainee of coach Kedar Tembe, recovered from the brink of defeat at 2-5 in the second set to outwit Nova in a gripping battle that lasted two hours and 25 minutes.

Playing increasingly well as the match progressed and hitting tough angles against an opponent who was stroking effortlessly for the better part, Rashmi pulled through 6-7 (2), 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Nova was suffering from a bout of Malaria but fought till the end, and forced as many as four breakpoints and saved two matchpoints in the climactic ninth game, but Rashmi who delivered two aces in that game, smacked a backhand cross court winner to emerge the under-16 champion.

Later in the under-14 final in the afternoon, Rashmi was a lot more clinical against a dispirited Nova, and defended the title that she had won last year, for the loss of six games.

"My aim was to win both titles and I am thrilled about it. I did not have much time to prepare as I was giving examinations before coming for this tournament'', said the diminutive Rashmi.

In the boys' event, Vijayant Malik was head and shoulders above the rest of the field, and proved too good for Yuki Bhambri in the under-16 final. It was a high quality fare at the start as the two rallied brilliantly, and with a maturity and fluency not seen even in the under-18 section, but the frail Yuki was unable to withstand the intensity of Vijayant's game for long.

Yuki did recover from 0-5 in the second set and saved as many as three matchpoints, but Vijayant hit a patented double-fisted backhand down the line winner to emerge the champion.

Yuki bags U-14 title

However, in the under-14 final, Yuki was equally authoritative in dismissing the challenge from Sumeet Shinde in defending his crown.

The Chairman and Managing Director of DSCL, Ajay Shriram, gave away the prizes.

The results (finals):

Boys' under-16: Vijayant Malik bt Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 6-3. Under-14: Yuki Bhambri bt Sumeet Shinde 6-3, 6-3.

Girls' under-16: Rashmi Teltumbe bt Nova Patel 6-7 (2), 7-6 (4), 6-3. Under-14: Rashmi Teltumbe bt Nova Patel 6-4, 6-2.

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