Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002
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In the quarterfinals at the Krishnan Tennis Centre, here, on Tuesday, Nitin of Mahatashtra, the National Games champion, put it across local lad and junior National hardcourt champion Somdev K. Dev Varman 6-4, 6-2, while Davis Cupper Harsh Mankad of Maharashtra comprehensively defeated Tamil Nadu's Manoj Mahadevan ,the National grasscourt champion, 6-2, 6-2.
Defending champion Ajay Ramaswami of Maharashtra ousted Vijay Kannan of Tamil Nadu 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-1 (conceded) and the current National hardcourt champion Vinod Sridhar (TN) beat Andhra Pradesh's Punna Vishal, the National Games finalist, 6-4, 6-0.
The Harsh-Manoj contest lasted for an hour and a half, with long games being played on Manoj's serves. Harsh, in control right through, established his superiority when his opponent lost his serve early.
The Ajay Ramaswami-Vijay Kannan face-off was a repeat of last year's final. It was an entertaining affair, with the latter taking the opening set and Ramaswami clawing his way back in the second, even when Kannan had two clear chances to finish it off. Vijay was serving 1-3 and 15-40 when he conceded, as he felt unwell.
Nitin's experience, his ability to change pace and the right times, saw the the seasoned Maharashtrian breeze past young Somdev while southpaw Vinod Sridhar kept the local interest alive in the last-four with a convincing win over Vishal Punna.
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