Gulf News

Qureshi prevails over Mannarino

INDIA’S CHAKRAVART­HI AND BHAMBRI ADVANCE IN THE 16TH DUBAI AVIATION CUP

- BY ALARIC GOMES Staff Reporter

Pakistan’s Aisam Qureshi kept up to his billing as the hot favourite with an easy 6-3, 6-2 romp against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at the 16th Dubai Aviation Cup 2007 yesterday.

Qureshi, winner of the $15,000 Dubai Duty Free ITF Futures held at the same venue last week, was in total control despite a nagging right hamstring to be among the first in the men’s draw to book a quarterfin­al berth.

“The idea from now on is to keep things simple. I don’t want to do anything out of the way, just make sure the match is short and sweet so that I can conserve for further battles ahead,” the 27-year-old Lahore resident told GulfNews.

Despite an attractive field, Qureshi has come forward as the hot favourite for the title here due to his fine showing last week. He was down on match point on two occasions, but he held on to win on both occasions before scalping Ireland’s Louk Sorensen in the final.

“The pressure is definitely not on me. All these players are hungry for a win against me, but that affects them and they end up making the mistakes,” Qureshi said.

“I do not want to do anything special, but just take one match at a time. It is the other players who will have to do something special if they want to defeat me,” added Pakistan’s longest serving Davis Cup member.

Intense action

The long two weeks of intense tennis action is getting to the favourite. “At one point I thought I would not be able to play today. But somehow I kept things simple. I shall take one match at a time from now on,” Qureshi said.

“I somehow thought

I could beat him, but I made far too many mistakes,” rued Mannarino.

In the women’s competitio­n, second seed Rushmi Chakravart­hi kept up to her ranking with a hard- fought 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 win against Farida Karaieva of Ukraine. “The rankings or seedings really do not matter here as anyone is capable of beating anyone,” Chakravart­hi said.

After squaring things up in the second set, Chakravart­hi was at the wrong end as her Ukrainian opponent led 4-1 in the deciding third set. “She was sending down win- ners, right, left and centre. But somehow I knew it would be a matter of time before she cracked up…and she did,” Chakravart­hi said.

The Indian now runs into eighth seed Fernanda Hermenigil­do after the Brazilian’s 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Monika Krauze of Poland.

Also advancing was third seed Katerina Avdiyenko with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Stamatia Fafaliou and fourth seed Sanaa Bhambri getting past Beatirs Simion 6-2, 6-1. Results: (Women) Vanessa Wellauer bt Fatma Al Nabhani 6-1, 6-2; Katerina Avdiyenko bt Stamatia Fafaliou 6-3, 64; Sanaa Bhambri bt Beatris Simion 62, 6-1; Fernanda Hermenegil­do bt Monika Krauze 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; Rushmi Chakravart­hi bt Farida Karaieva 3-6, 62, 7-5; Marinne Giraud bt Anastasia Malhotra 6-2, 6-2; Ria Doernemann bt Marina Khomenko 6-3, 6-0; Cagla Buyukakcay bt Ashmitha Easwaramur­thi 6-0, 6-0. (Men) Aisam Qureshi bt Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2; Talal Ouahabi bt Harshanna Godamanna 64, 6-1; Louk Sorensen bt Purav Raja 75, 6-4; Philipp Petzschner bt Julien Maes 6-1, 6-1.

 ?? KARL JEFFS/Gulf News ?? Unseeded Talal Ouahabi from Morocco defeated Harshanna Godamanna in their singles match in the Dubai Aviation Cup.
KARL JEFFS/Gulf News Unseeded Talal Ouahabi from Morocco defeated Harshanna Godamanna in their singles match in the Dubai Aviation Cup.

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