Saturday, Jun 07, 2003
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By Our Sports Reporter
Every time Siddharth had entered the tournament he had faced a higher-ranked opponent only to lose early; this time he is the top-seed and it's his maiden AITA final, his mother informed.
The ninth-standard student of PSBB (K.K. Nagar), Chennai, will cross swords with compatriot C.H. Sathi Reddy, who had to strain every sinew to put it across qualifier S. Mubeen of Tamil Nadu 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.
Leading 5-4, 40-0 on the tall and imposing Mubeen's serve, Sathi lost an opportunity to finish the contest. But he soon broke Mubeen in the 12th game to win in one hour and 40 minutes.
In the girls' under-14 semifinal, Shahin Ansari staged a magnificent comeback to oust K. Sumana 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) in 2 hours 3 minutes. The 12-year-old student of Sishya, Chennai, kept her calm and played with lot of assurance especially when things were not going her way.
Sumana had the match well under her control, on more than one occasion. Serving for the match in the second set at 5-4, 40-0, and then again in the third set leading 5-4, 40-15, Shahin's retrieving abilities coming to her rescue at vital points.
Though Sumana had greater depth in her shots, it was the perseverance and the patience of Shahin that won the day. Taking a 4-2 lead in the tiebreaker, Shahin ended the match with a fine forehand winner.
Shahin will meet the top-seed Grace Hannah of Tamil Nadu, a fellow-trainee at Classic Advanced Tennis Academy, Chennai. Hannah eased past S. Kirutika of Tamil Nadu 6-0, 6-1.
The organisers said due to lack of entries they had cancelled the doubles events.
The results (semifinals):
Boys under-14: Siddharth Koushik (TN) bt B. Santosh (Kar) 6-2, 6-2; C.H. Sathi Reddy (TN) bt S. Mubeen (TN) 7-6 (7-6), 7-5.
Girls under-14: Grace Hannah bt S. Kirutika (TN) 6-0, 6-1; Shahin Ansari (TN) bt K. Sumana (TN) 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3).
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