The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India sweep tennis team golds

Hyderabad: Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthy faced some unexpected resistance in the final, but India lived up to their top billing to sweep the team tennis golds at the inaugural Afro-Asian Games here Monday.

Davis Cuppers Prakash Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna outplayed Nigeria 3-0, while the womenís team barely managed to win their singles matches against a fighting Indonesia to increase the countryís gold tally.

Bopanna put India 1-0 up with a runaway 6-2, 6-2 win over Rotimi Jegede before Amritraj overcame Sunday Maku, the top-ranked Nigerian 6-4, 6-1.

In the doubles Vijay Kannan and Vishal Uppal blew away Balalola Abdul and Maku 6-1, 6-4.

In contrast, the womenís final turned out to be a close affair with the Indonesian girls throwing in a real challenge, taking both the singles to the decider. But Rushmi and Sania kept their cool at crucial moments, the former putting it across Septi Mende 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) and Sania quelling the challenge of Indonesian No.1 Sandy Gumulya 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5).

The doubles match was not played with consent of both the team captains.

Sania took the first set without much problem, but some mistakes showed. Sandy was improving, and accepting Saniaís strong forehands kept tossing up to upset the rhythm. She broke Sania in the third game of the second set but the Indian had restored parity by the tenth before losing serve again as the Indonesian served out for the set.

In the decider Sania took a 4-0 lead, but failed to hold her serves in three consecutive games as her rival shot ahead 5-1. Breaks were traded before Sandy, serving for the match in the 12th game, pulled a hamstring trying to reach out to a forehand cross court and received treatment on court. Sania broke through and kept her cool to win the match.

In the individual events, which commenced today on the outside courts, Johnny Arcilla of the Philippines in the menís section and Berthe Khady of Senegal, Czarina Arevalo of the Philippines and Clara Udofo among women qualified to the quarter finals.

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