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Suresh, Kyra emerge champions

Amitabha Das Sharma

Ankita Raina and Rishika Sunkara claim women's doubles title

— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

MOMENT TO CHERISH:Kyra Shroff (left) of Maharashtra and Suresh Krishna of Andhra Pradesh, the new National champions.

KOLKATA: A.S. Suresh Krishna of Andhra Pradesh reserved his best for the final and defeated Ashutosh Singh of Delhi to take the title in the National Jute Board-National grass-court tennis tournament here on Saturday.

The tournament had a set of new champions as Kyra Shroff of Maharashtra took the women's crown with a determined demolition of her opponent Aishwarya Agrawal.

Kyra could not make it a grand double as she lost the women's doubles final partnering Bengal's Shivika Burman. The Gujarat-Delhi combination of Ankita Raina and Rishika Sunkara claimed the crown.

New hero

The tournament's biggest gain was the emergence of Suresh Krishna as the new hero on grass. The player, never in the reckoning prior to the start of the tournament, came up with a series of outstanding results at different stages of the main draw.

The 21-year-old player from the School of Power Tennis, Hyderabad bettered the defending champion in every department of the game to carve out a straight-set win.

Ashutosh, definitely one of the best players on grass, served a battery of aces to announce his presence, but his younger opponent showed better fitness and court coverage to create the difference in the end.

With both the players serving well, unseeded Ashutosh enjoyed the initial advantage when he earned the first break point in the fourth game. Suresh, seeded sixth in the tournament, salvaged the situation firing in two big serves that unsettled his opponent's rhythm.

Suresh made no mistake in the seventh game when he forced a break point on a weaker Ashutosh serve and ensured the break with a fine cross-court return. The break, the only one of the match, fetched Suresh the first set 6-4.

Moving rather sluggishly, Ashutosh let go another opportunity in the fourth game when he failed to drive home the advantage of a break point.

The tie-breaker became inevitable as both players held serve. The Andhra Pradesh player showed great character in winning the tie-breaker 7-1 to take the set and match in 92 minutes.

“I served well and got my shots right in the crucial points. Otherwise it was not possible to beat a great grass-court player like Ashutosh, whom I have admired since childhood,” said Suresh Krishna after his win.

Maiden senior title

Having the under-16 and under-18 age-group National titles under her belt, the 18-year-old Kyra put together a perky show to pick up her maiden senior National title. “I started preparing for the professional circuit barely a few months ago. The National title will definitely help me graduate to the senior stage,” Kyra said.

The energy and aggression that third-seeded Kyra showed on court yielded its dividends in a battle of attrition as unseeded Aishwarya seemed to give up after a point of time.

Aishwarya had a break in the first game of both sets, but the Indore-based player failed to sustain the tempo in the later stages where Kyra dominated with her aggression and power. The 6-4, 6-1 result in the end justified the efforts the Maharashtra player put in to claim the crown.

The results (finals):

Men's singles: A.S. Suresh Krishna (AP) bt Ashutosh Singh (Del) 6-4, 7-6(7).

Women's singles: Kyra Shroff (Mah) bt Aishwarya Agrawal (MP) 6-4, 6-1.

  Doubles: Ankita Raina (Guj) & Rishika Sunkara (Del) bt Shivika Burman (Ben) & Kyra Shroff 6-3, 0-6, 10-7 .

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