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Ashutosh too hot for Kaushik

Calcutta: Second seed Ashutosh Singh eased past qualifier Kaushik Das of Assam in straight sets on Day II of the IndianOil Servo National Grass Court Tennis Championship at South Club here on Tuesday.

Ashutosh, ranked fourth in the country, maintained his domination throughout the match and wrapped up the 50-minute affair with a 6-1, 6-1 verdict to move into Round II. Ashutosh next will face Arjun Gautham of Karnataka, who beat P.C. Vignesh.

Wildcard entrant Syed Fazaluddin brushed aside Tamil Nadu rival Ajai Selveraj’s challenge, clinching the first round tie 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.

“It always feels nice winning a match after a long time,” Fazal said after the match, which remained incomplete on Monday.

“The court was fine and I enjoyed the game,” the 33-year old former Davis Cupper added.

In other matches, Harsh Mankad of Maharashtra took less than 10 minutes to complete his unfinished job — a 6-4, 6-2 win over Divyanshu Singh of Delhi — while fifth seed Vivek Shokeen of Delhi accounted for Tamil Nadu’s Vijay Sunder Prasanth 7-5, 6-2.

It was a see-saw battle between Shokeen and Prasanth which lasted a little over two hours. Prasanth put up a good fight in the first set in which Shokeen broke his opponent in the seventh game. Though Prasanth held his serve in the next game, the Indian No. 9 won the last three games to seal the first set in 51 minutes. Shokeen was more domineering in the second set, never allowing his opponent to take a foothold.

City girl and sixth seed Vimal Ragini was in good touch as she outsmarted and outthought another city girl Richa Valechha 6-2, 6-0. Ragini will face Anushree Thamnna in Round II.

“It was a very easy match. I played well but she (Richa) was troubled by a hairline fracture in her right wrist… That sort of made the game easier for me,” Ragini said.

Ashutosh continued his brilliant run in doubles too. The Delhi lad, pairing up with fellow city-man Divij Sharan, thrashed Anshuman Dutta and Divyanshu Singh in straight sets. They won 6-1, 6-1.

In the women’s doubles, the Rushmi Chakravarthy-Sonal Phadke pair beat Shilpi Jaiswal and Anukriti Prasad 6-1, 6-1 while Treta Bhattacharya, combining with Rashmi Teltumbde, struggled past Shivika Burman-Vishaka Sheoran 2-6, 6-3, 10-4.

In other doubles matches, Parul Goswami and Vimal Ragini lost 5-7, 2-6 to Pooja Shree Venkatesh-Janaki Gunuganti combine while Manoj Sewa and Vinod Sewa sent Saif Ali and Druv Kumar packing.

Bad light meanwhile forced three doubles match to be postponed to Wednesday.

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