Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas, Paramount Proec Tigers register massive wins, Ichiban Samurai remain unbeaten -
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Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas, Paramount Proec Tigers register massive wins, Ichiban Samurai remain unbeaten

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Harven Pro Tennis League

Ichiban Samurai lapped up their second straight win of the fifth season in the Harven Pro Tennis League. Meanwhile, Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas and Pramount Proec Tigers posted massive wins

Khel Today Bureau 

New Delhi: Icihban Samurai collected their second win of the fifth season of the Harven Pro Tennis League (PTL) when they beat Indraprastha Warriors on the second day of the competition at the DLTA Complex in New Delhi on Friday. Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas recovered from a defeat on the opening day to trounce Lucknow Aviators by a massive 30 points.

Paramount Proec Tigers leaped to top of the Group B standings with a crushing win over DMG Delhi Crusaders in the evening. Mumbai Acers were clinical in their win over Gurgaon Sapphires.

After two days of tennis, Group B looks done and dusted as far as who will occupy the semi-final slots is concerned with Paramount Proec Tigers and Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas in top-two spots by a comfortable margin. However, it will be interesting to see who tops the group with just three points separating the two sides.

In Group A, Indraprastha Warriors and Ichiban Warriors traded places at the top of the standings. It is Ichiban Samurai who are in pole position with just five points separating Indraprastha Warriors (159 points), Gurgaon Sapphires (155 points) and Mumbai Acers (154 points).

The performance of the day and from the fifth edition so far came from inaugural season’s champions Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas who thoroughly outplayed Lucknow Aviators 95-65. Plenty of credit for that should go to India’s top-10 Arjun Kadhe who convincingly beat Anirudh Chandrasekar 21-9. This was right after Sahira Singh beat Diva Bhatia (13-7) in in the Next Gen Women’s Singles match and national champion Sowjanya Bavisetti teamed up with Master Pulkit Mishra to down Kashish Bhatia and Aditya Khanna (13-7).

After five matches, Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas led by a jaw-dropping 26 points as the scoreline read 68-42. The next two matches went close but again in Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas’s favour to expand their dominance.

The eventual 95 points could play a big role when the points are tallied on Saturday to decide who goes through into the semi-finals. It helps the team’s quest after collecting just 77 points on Thursday when they lost to Paramount Proec Tigers in Group B. Lucknow Aviators, meanwhile, would need a big win (against Paramount Proec Tigers) to keep their challenge alive.

Ichiban Samurai went about business as usual on the second day. Having beaten Gurgaon Sapphires on Thursday, they made it two-in-two by beating Indraprastha Warriors 89-71. Member of the Indian Billie Jean King Cup team Sahaja Yamalapalli justified her second-highest auction bid by hammering Soha Sadiq and giving the team a 17-3 advantage from the get go.

Ichiban Samurai’s 43-17 lead, after three matches, was brought down to 61-49 following back-to-back defeats for Yamalapalli & Dilip Mohanty and Nitin Kumar Sinha. But the gap was far too big to be bridged and was only broadened with the pairing of Sinha & Rushil Khosla beating Mukund Sasikumar & Suvrat Mall 18-12.

If Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas’s dominant show was the benchmark, it was certainly followed in the evening. Paramount Proec Tigers and DMG Delhi Crusaders had remained neck-and-neck after six matches with scorelines of 12-8, 11-9, 14-6, 9-11, 12-18 and 10-10 across singles and doubles matches. Suddenly, as the mercury level dipped, the intensity from Vishnu Vardhan and Parikshit Somani shot up to thrash Karan Singh and Sarthak Suden 24-6 With that, a six-point match (68-62), had a very different look by the end of it.

Former National champion Sharmada Balu’s disappointing run in the singles continued for a second day as she went down to Vaishnavi Adkar by a slender 8-12 margin to get the tie between Gurgaon Sapphires and Mumbai Acers underway. The tie remained close throughout but Mumbai Acers won four of six matches with an exact four-point gap (12-8). It proved decisive in the end even as Rithvik Choudhary and Maan Keshwarwani won both their singles and doubles matches.

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