Sureshkumar Manish of Tamil Nadu used his all-round ability to negate the aggressive Dhruv Sunish of Maharashtra 6-3, 6-3 in the boys U-21 final, while Prerna Vichare of Maharashtra outlasted Priyanshi Bhandari of Gujarat 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 in the girls U-17 final of the Khelo India Youth Games here on Saturday.
A day earlier, Prerna had won the Girls’ Doubles and thus completed a double. Emulating her, Dev Javia, winner of Under-17 singles, partnered Krish Patel to win the Boys Under-17 double and grabbed a second gold.
Dhruv, who won the boys' U-21 doubles along with Armaan Bhatia on Friday, was eyeing a second gold in the U-21 singles final. But he was up against a top-600 ranker on the ATP list and a player who has an ITF Pro Circuit title to his name. Manish had lost only seven games en route to the final and had hardly been tested.
Dhruv played aggressively from the first set and surprisingly broke Manish for the first time in the tournament for a 3-1 lead. But that was the only high point for Dhruv as everything went downhill for him thereafter.
Manish produced almost flawless tennis in the next five games and broke his rival thrice to clinch the first set 6-3. In the second set, it was the same story as Dhruv simply didn't have the answers to Manish who reeled off superb returns and down the line forehands to seal the issue 6-3, 6-3.
Afterwards, Manish said, "Before the tournament, I knew I was one of the contenders, but I played freely throughout because I didn't have any expectations. You don't get to represent the State often and winning two medals here, I think, it has been a terrific week for me."
The unseeded Prerna was back on Centre Court for the singles final less than 16 hours after winning the doubles gold on Friday. Her opponent had pulled off a few upsets en route to the final, but the lanky Prerna gave Priyanshi no chance, firing in seven aces enroute to taking the first set 6-2 in less than 30 minutes.
Prerna led 4-2 in the second before Priyanshi started attacking the net and using drop shots to put Prerna off balance. The Maharashtra girl lost momentum and dropped serve thrice as Priyanshi took the set 7-5.
In the decider, games went with serve till five-all when Prerna pumped herself up with two aces in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead. The pressure was on Priyanshi as she served to stay in the match but she crumbled as Prerna won the next four points to clinch her second gold of the games.
A smiling Prerna said later, "I can't believe I have won two gold medals here. I had beaten Priyanshi recently in an AITA tournament at Ahmedabad, so I had the edge. This gold medal means a lot to me because I was not in good form before the tournament. My coaches Rohan Gajjar and Rama Rao have played a big role in my victory"
Two doubles gold for Gujarat
Gujarat's Zeel Desai and Vaidehi Chaudhary outplayed Telangana’s Rashmika Bhamidipaty and Humera Shaik 6-3, 6-2 in the girls U-21 doubles final. In the boy's U-17 doubles gold medal match, Gujarat’s Dev Javia and Krish Patel beat Haryana's Sushant Dabas and Divesh Gahlot 6-3, 2-6, 13-11 (super tiebreak) in a thrilling encounter. It was Javia’s second gold of the games after his U-17 singles title on Friday.
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