The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Indian clean sweep
- Kannan gets singles gold l Sania completes treble with doubles, mixed doubles titles

Hyderabad: Vijay Kannan played a flawless game to thrash an off-colour Johnny Arcilla of The Philippines 6-1, 6-1 in the menís singles final to assure India a clean sweep of all the seven tennis golds in the inaugural Afro-Asian Games here Friday.

Earlier, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza won India the mixed doubles gold while Sania and Rushmi Chakraborty teamed up to clinch the womenís doubles.

Kannan hardly made an unforced error and proved far superior to Arcilla, who failed to offer any resistance. The 23-year-old Kannan was also a member of the menís team which won the gold. Kannan, who was under pressure following Prakash Amritrajís pull-out from the singles, rose to the occasion and entertained the good crowd with an authoritative serve and volley game. World No. 596 Kannan kept Arcilla under pressure by coming to the net and forcing him to commit errors. Besides, the Filipino committed a few double faults on crucial points.

Arcilla was broken in the fourth game of the first set and Kannan, who did not drop a serve, held the seventh without conceding a point to take a 1-0 lead.

There was no respite for Arcilla in the second as he conceded breaks in the first and third games. Kannan kept the pressure up and holding his serves with ease, broke the rival in the seventh to wrap up the match.

Meanwhile, Sania continued her gold rush as she and Rushmi won the womenís doubles title beating Indonesiaís Stephanie Rosa Maya and Septi Mende 7-6 (7-2), 6-3. The match turned out to be a drab affair with both the pairs putting up a below-par performance.

The Indonesians who poured cold water on an all-India final defeating Sonal Phadke and Megha Vakharia in a tough three-set semi-final Thursday, held the upper hand slightly in the first set.

The third-seeded Indonesians took a 2-1 lead after breaking Sania, but Septi was broken back in the very next game.

However, the Indians were in no mood to give up and levelled scores breaking Mayaís serve in the sixth.

The second set saw the rivals holding serves rather easily before Septi conceded a break in the seventh. Once Rushmi held serve in the eighth, the Indians proved unstoppable.

Bhupathi and Sania then had it easy beating compatriots Vishal Uppal and Rushmi 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 to ensure the mixed doubles gold. (PTI)

Email This Page