Maharashtra's top junior singles tennis player Aryan Goveas of VIBGYOR High had to toil hard before overcoming second seed Rian Pandole of Cathedral and John Connon 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in almost two hours to lift the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) U-14 title yesterday.

To the fore: Aryan Goveas hits a forehand to Rian Pandole during their
U-14 inter-school final at the MSSA tennis courts at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Pic/Suresh KK

Aryan took a little longer to overcome the formidable Rian after dropping the opening set. But once he got into his rhythm in the second, he never looked back. However, Aryan loves the healthy on-court rivalry he's been sharing with Rian for the last couple of years.

"It feels good to win against Rian. I beat Rian in MSSA U-12 final two years ago. Last year I couldn't win a title due to injury. Today I lost the first set because of silly mistakes, but once I started getting my topspins right, I was confident of winning the title," added the 13-year-old, who will next feature in the AITA Talent Series in Aurangabad commencing on January 30.

Meanwhile, Supriya Zende of Loretto Convent, Chembur took a marathon two hours and 45 minutes to get the better of Shazia Khan of St Agnes, Byculla 7-5, 3-6, 10-4 to lift the U-16 crown. In the boys' U-16 final, Manav Pondkule of Utpal Sanghvi comfortably beat Shonit Ghia of Activity High School 6-3, 6-4. 

Final results: B-U-12: Poojan Desai (Seth Virachand Dhanji) bt Shanay Amin (AVM, Bandra) 6-3, 6-3; B-U-10: Darren Pereira (St Joseph's, Orlem) bt Ishaan Lumba (Campion) 6-4, 7-5; G-U-14: Trisha Punamiya (Vibgyor) bt Dakshata Patel (St Theresa) 8-2; G-U-12: Simran Kejriwal (Billabong) bt Kritika Chabbro (AVM) 9-7; G-U-10: Durva Deo (Maneckji Cooper) bt Prerana Vichare (Maneckji Cooper) 8-7 (7-0).