| Saurav Sukul, in action, on Thursday. A Telegraph picture |
Calcutta: Local girl Shivika Burman’s dream run was halted by a spirited Natasha Palha, who beat the wild card entrant 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, in the quarter finals of the National Grasscourt Championship, at the South Club, here, on Thursday.
Playing a superb backcourt game, Natasha broke Shivika thrice and got broken only once in the first set. In the second, gritty Shivika made a comeback, winning 6-4. In the decider, though, a visibly distressed Shivika surrendered breaks to her opponent thrice and lost 2-6.
In another match, top seed Ankita Raina was stretched to the full by Bhuvana Kalva. Ankita finally clinched it 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 after 2 hours 55 minutes of marathon action.
Bengal players had a great day as southpaw Saurav Sukul entered the last-four stage, beating Elwin Antony 6-3, 6-1. Elwin did not have a chance against Saurav as the former was too strong from the baseline. Saurav broke Antony on the fifth and ninth game. And in the second he broke him on the fourth and sixth game to close it out .
Bengal’s Rupesh Roy also made the grade, ending fifth seed Abhijeet Tiwari’s strong run 6-3, 6-2.
Senior pro Rushmi Chakravarthy once again showed why she is still a force to reckon with when she beat her much younger and higher ranked, Prarthana Thombare 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
There was not much to choose between the two till the midway of the second set when she broke Prarthana and closed it out 6-2.
In another big upset, Ramkumar Ramanathan ousted veteran Nitten Kirrtane 6-3, 6-4. Nitten surrendered the first set very meekly and the power hitting of the Tamil Nadu lad continued relentlessly as Nitten surrendered the second set too.
Maharashtra lad Ronak Manuja ended the dream run of giant killer Fariz Mohammed, winning 6-4, 6-0.