Calcutta: It turned out to be a day for the US, here at the DKS. However, there was a little bit of India in it as well, as Sameer Kumar and Raveena Kingsley, both of Indian origin, were the ones to emerge champions in the boys’ and girls’ sections of the ONGC ITF Junior Tennis, on Saturday.
Sameer already clinched the doubles title with Isa Mammetgulyyev on Friday. It became a treasured double crown for him as he took just an hour and 15 minutes to wallop France’s Mandresy Rakotomalala in straight sets — 6-4, 6-1.
Raveena had to rally hard before she eventually carved out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win in a 144-minute battle against Ojasvinee Singh, who had surprised all to come through to the final. The scoreline might suggest that Sameer had it pretty easy. But the start, particularly, was scratchy.
However, a strong serve, backed by precise volleys and timely winners, took him past his opponent, who started faltering at crucial junctures.
The 16-year-old simply waltzed past Mandresy in the second to lift the trophy. “The first set was really close. But I backed my abilities and fortunately, got most things right thereafter, which helped me prevail,” said Sameer, who trains regularly at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) academy.
“Tips from Somdev (Dev Varman), with whom I had played a charity match two years ago, also helped me work on my game,” he added.
The girls’ final, on the other hand, comprised a flurry of unforced errors from both players. Nonetheless, the crucial moments during which Raveena came out on top enabled her to pull through.