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2 upsets on Day I at South Club

Calcutta: Two upsets marked the opening day of the IndianOil Servo National Grass Court Tennis Championships at the South Club on Monday.

First, city girl Treta Bhattacharya shocked fourth seed Parul Goswami of Delhi 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Local wild card entrant Manoj Sewa then got the better of eighth seed G.P. Prajnesh of Tamil Nadu 6-2, 6-3 in men’s singles.

Another city girl, Dipti Srivastava, sailed into the next round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Delhi’s Jike Nelord.

Shivika Burman, however, lost to qualifier Anushree Thamanna of Karnataka 6-3, 3-3, 3-6.

“It feels great to win a match like this,” said Anushree, who is playing in her first grass court tournament. “I feel I won the match on the strength of my serves. I gained rhythm after the qualifiers. I am happy and want to enjoy playing and gaining experience,” she added.

In her 125-minute encounter against Treta, Parul dominated the first set with varied serves and smashing volleys. Though the city girl broke serve in the fifth game, Parul broke back and bagged the set.

The Delhi girl surprisingly went into a shell in the second set. The first seven games went on serve before Treta got a break in the marathon eighth game. Though Parul broke back immediately, she lost the initiative and a double fault in the 10th game saw her lose the set.

The 43-minute third set saw Parul putting up a good fight. But some loose shots and a few double faults helped Treta snatch the set and the match.

“The first set was alright. I was serving well, keeping the balls in the right places,” Parul said. “But in the second set, I tried a few things. I let her (Treta) come to the net and she became confident. That cost me the match,” Parul said.

In another men’s singles encounter, top seed Karan Rastogi thrashed wild card Saif Ali 6-1, 6-4. Rastogi will meet A.S. Suresh Krishna of Andhra Pradesh, who ousted city lad Siddhartha Verma 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

Former Davis Cupper Syed Fazaluddin, who is playing after a gap of six years, appeared in good nick. Playing Ajai Selveraj of Tamil Nadu, the 33-year old won the first set 7-6 (7-3) and was leading 3-1 in the second when bad light forced the players into the dressing room.

The match between Harsh Mankad ó another wild card ó and Divyanshu Singh was also incomplete. Mankad led 6-4, 4-2 when play was called off.

Earlier in the day, women’s top seed Rushmi Chakravarthy of Tamil Nadu eased past Chirashanti Rajur of Karnataka 6-0, 6-0, while Sonal Phadke ousted Abhilasha Ahuja 6-3, 6-3 to move into Round II of the six-day meet.

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