Bains, Batra lead Chandigarh charge in Jassowal
■ CHANDIGARH: Local lads Sagar Bains, Digvijay Partap and Ramanjot Singh qualified for the main draw in the under-14 boys’ section of the HTAAITA Championship Series being held at the Harvest Tennis Academy in Jassowal, Punjab, on Monday.
Third seed Bains, who was given a bye in the first round, breezed past fellow Chandigarhbased player Sohrab Singh 81 in the second to set up a meeting with Manik Dawar of Uttarakhand in the final qualifying round.
Tenth seed Dawar, who got the better of Chandigarh’s Amanjeet Singh Sohi in his second round fixture, gave Bains a tough fight before going down 6-8.
Partap, who blanked Dalbir Singh of Punjab 8-0 in the first round, upset the 12th-seed local challenger Sahishnu Sharma 8-2 in the second before shocking second seed Rohit Kumar of Haryana 8-1 in the final round to make it to the main draw.
Ramanjot, seeded 14, got a bye in the first round and defeated Delhi’s Abhishek MK Appaiah 8-2 in the second round.
Up against the tough challenge of fourth seed Amit Beniwal of Haryana in the final qualifying round, Ramanjot prevailed 8-7 (4) after the tiebreaker.
Top seed Karandeep Singh of Punjab sailed through without any hiccups as did the Delhi duo of Sanjit Singh Pahuja and Shivank Bhatnagar, seeded sixth and eighth, respectively.
Fifth seed Anmol Rattan Kamboj, however, was not so lucky as he bowed down to Manipur’s Calvin Golmei 6-8.
Another city-based player, seventh seed Saurabh Prashar, was knocked out by Uttarakhand’s Prakhar Pal, who in turn was eliminated by ninth seed Himanshu Mor of Haryana.
Among the under-14 girls, the top three seeds Tanya Batra, Yashi Saksena and Neelanchal Gupta, all of whom hail from the city, made it to the main draw, as did fourth seed Jannat Khurana of Punjab.
In the under-18 bracket, Chandigarh’s challenge will be led by Dheeranush Bhatti among the boys, and Bhavya Wadhawan, Nimrat Walia, Nikita Bishnoi and Aarushi Kakkar among the girls.
Seeded sixteenth, Bhatti breezed through his first two rounds before brushing aside fellow Chandigarh-based player Paramveer Singh Bajwa, who earlier took care of top seed Himanshu Sagar of Delhi, 8-3 to qualify for the main draw.
The other boys to qualify included second seed Sahil Sachdeva of Delhi, Dushyant Agrahari of UP, 12th seed Mihesilhouto, Dalwinder Singh of Punjab, sixth seed Anmol Singh Sandhu of Punjab, Dhruv Pal of Uttarakhand and eighth seed Sohrab Kunwar of Punjab.
In the girls’ qualifying draw, top seed Wadhawan defeated fellow Chandigarh player Raahat Manrai 8-2, second seed Walia beat Kerala’s Chelsea Stephen 8-3.
Sixth seed Bishnoi blanked Punjab’s Bani Singh 8-0, while Kakkar got the better of ninth seed Saumya Saxena of Chandigarh 8-3 and eighth seed Snigdha Padmata of AP 8-2.
The other girls who qualified were third seed Sachi Belwal of HP, fourth seed Gurmehar Kaur of Punjab, Delhi’s Pragya Sinha and Punjab’s Sarah Dev.