Maharashtra's Pandole marches into boys' U-16 tennis semi-finals

Mumbai: Maharashtra's unseeded Rian Pandole today advanced to the semi-finals of the boys under-16 singles event in the 8th Ramesh Desai National Championship being organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) here.

The lanky Mumbai boy scored an emphatic 6-1 6-1 victory over eighth seed Nitin Kumar Sinha of West Bengal in a quarter-final match played in the sweltering afternoon heat to move into the last four. Pandole next meets another unseeded player, Chandigarh s Param Pun, who scored an upset win over sixth seed Shrey Gupta of Haryana winning at 6-2 6-1.

Punjab s second seed Paramveer Singh Bajwa was the only player among the top eight to make the semis. He defeated Sumit Pal Singh of Jammu and Kashmir 6-4 7-5 to set up a semi-final meeting with unseeded Siddanth Banthia of Mahrashtra who defeated Tamil Nadu s S Manish S 6-4 6-3 in the quarter-finals.

Pandole, who shocked top seed Nikshep B R in the previous round yesterday, asserted his dominance from the beginning. He broke Sinha s serve in the fourth and sixth game while holding his own to clinch the opening set. He continued to hold sway in the second and had three breaks in the third, fifth and seventh game to clinch the win.

"I had a good match. I played aggressively from the first point and did not allow him (Sinha) to get into the match," Pandole said after his victory. The Mumbai lad said he also adapted better to the hot conditions.

In the girls' under-16 competition, top seed Abinikka R of Tamil Nadu continued her good form and breezed to a facile win over Punjab s Sarah Dev 6-1 6-1. Third seed Mikha Yadav of Maharashtra also enjoyed a good outing by strolling to a 6-3 6-0 win against Jennifer Luikham of Haryana to seal her place in the last.

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