It was a fitting climax to a remarkable run for the 21-year-old Sahaja against Viktoria (right), who kept fighting till the finish. | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan
Sahaja beats Viktoria in the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament
Sahaja Yamalapalli took her dream run to a fairy tale conclusion as she tamed a tenacious fourth seed Viktoria Morvayova 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Sunday.
It was a fitting climax to a remarkable run as the 21-year-old Sahaja, ranked a modest 989, kept beating better ranked players, starting with Karman Thandi in the first round.
In an interesting coincidence, Karman had beaten Sahaja in the first round of the last tournament at the same venue and went on to lift the title.
‘’I wanted to beat Karman in the first round. Thereafter, I didn’t have any expectations. I kept playing every match according to the game plan that the coach (Cesar Morales) made. I took the final also as another match, and kept playing my game, as we had worked on my strengths. The title is yet to sink. It is all a dream for me right now’’, said Sahaja, who handled the match with competence.
On her part, Viktoria kept fighting till the finish, as she smacked two winners down the line to save two match points in the tie-break. Sahaja was 4-1 up in the second set, and Viktoria brought it on par.
Sahaja was serving for the match twice at 5-4 and 6-5 in that second set, and the 407th ranked Viktoria broke serve to extend her fight, with the intensity of her strokes and athleticism.
There was no doubt that Sahaja was the better player this day. She got behind every ball she could and hit rousing shots in vacant space, stretching Viktoria to her wit’s end.
Both the players had dropped just one set each on way to the final and provided an entertaining contest that spanned two hours and 20 minutes, for the lucky few at the venue.
This was the second singles title for Sahaja after the one she won in the $15,000 tournament in Nagpur in March.
Tournament Director Vishaal Uppal was happy that Sahaja and the Indian players capitalised on the two events at home to boost their confidence and rank.
AITA women’s: Sonal edges top seed Kavya
Champion of the last tournament, Sonal Patil beat top seed Kavya Khirwar 6-2, 6-1 to make the main draw of the Rs. 100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Sunday.
Kavya made the main draw as a lucky loser and was seeded third, behind Sachi Sharma and Shefali Arora.
Sonal will challenge the top seed Sachi in the first round of the main event.
Asian U-14: Om Verma, Prasamsa Moktan seeded No.1
Om Verma and Prasamsa Moktan have been seeded No.1 in the boys and girls sections respectively in the Asian under-14 tennis tournament to be played at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, from Monday.
Moktan of Nepal has drawn to play Ridhima Singh in the first round.
– Kamesh Srinivasan
ITF women’s, Charleston: Prarthana loses quarterfinals
Prarthana Thombare in partnership with Joanne Zuger of Switzerland was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by the top seeds Sophie Chang and Angela Kulikov of the US in the doubles quarterfinals of the $100,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Charleston.
– Kamesh Srinivasan
India wins eight medals in U-15 Asian Championships
India's Greco-Roman wrestlers won eight medals at the U-15 Asian championships in Manama on Saturday.
While Sachin (68kg) and Abhay (72kg) clinched gold medals, Pranay Choudhary bagged silver in 52 kg and Varun Kumar in 62 kg categories, respectively.
Varun Sonkar (38 kg), Aditya Kumar (48 kg), Tushar Patil (57 kg) and Hardeep (85 kg) finished with bronze medals.
With 205 Points, Iran clinched Asia Title while Kazakhstan was runner-up with 192 Points and India secured 3rd place as it collected 172 Points.
– Team Sportstar
Three Indians banned for four years for doping
Three Indian athletes have been banned for four years for anti-doping violations, as per a report released by the Athletics Integrity Unit for the month of June.
Adesh Yadav, Anish Khan and Shrikant Malik will be unable to compete till the second half of 2025.
Maharashtra's Adesh had tested positive for Erythropoetin (EPO) after winning the 5000m event at the National U23 Championships in New Delhi in September 2021. Quartermiler Shrikant and hammer thrower Anish failed out of competition tests.
– Team Sportstar
Indian men win gold, women silver in the IAU 24H Asia and Oceania Championships
Indian ultra runners stole the show in the IAU 24H Asia and Oceania Championships, winning the men's individual and team titles at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Led by the formidable Amar Singh Devanda, the Indian men's team clocked a combined total of 739.959 km over the scheduled 24 hours, starting from 8 am on Saturday, to comfortably clinch the gold medal.
Amar Singh managed a personal best of 258.418 km, which was over 18 kilometres more than his previous most.
He was followed home by Saurav Kumar Ranjan (242.564) and Geeno Antony (238.977) to make it a clean sweep for India in the Individual Championships.
Australia (628.405) and Chinese Taipei (563.591) clinched the second and third positions.
On Sunday, the Indian women's team put up a strong performance to secure the second position. Together, they ran an impressive 570.70 km, threatening the eventual winners all through the day.
Australia, however, clinched the first position with 607.63 kms. Chinese Taipei took the third position with 529.082.
Taipei's Kuan Ju Lin (216.877 km) took the first position in the women's individual, while Australia's Cassie Cohen (214.990) and Allicia Heron (211.442) grabbed the other two places on the podium.
Jamuna Boro among four Indian boxers to enter finals of Elorda Cup
World Championships bronze medallist Jamuna Boro put up another clinical performance and got the better of Kazakhstan’s Anel Sakysh to enter the final of the Elorda cup in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Sunday.
Jamuna, who hails from Assam produced a clinical and dominating performance during her thumping win against the home boxer by a unanimous margin in the 54kg semi-final.
Her speed and footwork were spot on as she managed to evade her opponent’s punches several times before freeing herself up to land a few of her own towards the end of the opening round.
While the Indian dominated the proceedings in the second round, Jamuna’s determination and composure under pressure gifted her the win in a highly competitive final round.
Meanwhile, the other two women- Sakshi (54kg) and Sonia (57kg) ended their campaign with 0-5 and 2-3 defeat against Uzbekistan’s Nigina Uktamova and Sitora Turdibekova respectively.
The challenge in the men’s section also ended in the semi-finals as all the four pugilists playing today lost unanimously. While Kuldeep (48kg) and Jugnoo (92kg) lost to Kazakh boxers Asilbek Jalilov and Aibek Oralbey respectively, Anant went down fighting against China’s Fang Bo.
Sachin (57kg) showed great courage and fight against the 2021 World Championships silver medallist Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan but lost the bout eventually.
Late on Saturday night, World Youth Champions Gitika (48kg) and Alfiya (81+Kg) stormed into the final. Gitika won her bout against Uzbekistan’s Marjona Savrieva 4-1, while Alfiya showed her dominance against Valeria Axenova of Kazakhstan as the referee had to stop the contest in the second round.
The inaugural edition of Elorda Cup has been witnessing the presence of top players from strong boxing countries such as India, Uzbekistan, hosts Kazakhstan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.
Four Indian boxers- Kalaivani Srinivasan (48kg), Gitika (48kg), Jamuna (54kg) and Alfiya (81+kg) will play the final on Monday.
The champion boxer will receive USD 700, while the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 400 and USD 200 respectively.
Elorda Cup: Boro beats Sakysh, enters women's 54kg final
World championships bronze medallist Jamuna Boro gave a clinical performance to beat home boxer Anel Sakysh and enter the women’s 54kg final at Elorda Cup boxing tournament in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on Sunday.
Jamuna won her semifinal bout with a 5-0 verdict.
In the final, Jamuna will meet Uzbekistan’s Nigina Uktamova, who beat World youth champion Sakshi Choudhary 5-0 in the other semifinal.
Sonia Lather (57kg), another World championships medallist, also lost in the last-four stage.
– Y. B. Sarangi
Diksha's superb 65 sees her rise to T-17th in Germany
India's Diksha Dagar turned in a superb seven-under 65 to rise to T-17 after the third round of the Amundi German Masters here.
The Deaflympics gold medallist picked up eight birdies against one bogey to recover from one-over after two rounds to six-under after three rounds.
Diksha, who has finally began to find form, started from the 10th and had five birdies against one bogey on the ninth to turn in four-under.
On the second nine, a former winner on the LET, Diksha had three more birdies.
As for the other two Indians who made the cut -– Ridhima Dilawari (72) was lying T-56th and amateur Avani Prashanth shot 74 and slipped to T-64.
Three other Indians, Tvesa Malik, Amandeep Drall and Vani Kapoor missed the cut.
Sweden's Jessica Karlsson held a one-shot lead over compatriot Maja Stark at the end of the third day of the Amundi German Masters.
After completing her second round on Saturday morning, Karlsson had a four-shot lead with a total of 13-under-par and this afternoon, she added a third round of 71 (-1).
The 29-year-old dropped a shot on the third hole but bounced back with a birdie on the 10th before making another bogey on 13. However, back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 ensured the Swede kept her lead intact as she sits on 14-under-par with one round left at Golf & Country Club Seddiner See.
Three-time LET winner Maja Stark sits in second place on 13-under-par having fired a third round of 67 (-5) on Saturday afternoon.
Four shots behind the leader are Spain's Carmen Alonso and Germany's Leonie Harm, who are tied for third place on 10-under-par having carded rounds of 67 and 69, respectively.
Five players are in a share of fifth place on nine-under-par including three-time LET winner Linn Grant, home favourite Olivia Cowan, Czechia’s Klara Spilkova and Scotland’s Laura Beveridge.
Lahiri suffers big drop to tied 61st at John Deere
Anirban Lahiri suffered a big drop on the leaderboard as he shot 3-over 74 and fell to tied 61st at the end of the John Deere Classic here.
He was tied 24th at the end of the second round.
After a fine 67 in the second round the 74 in the third was disappointment and a big blow to his hopes of making it to the 150th Open in two weeks. He however has another chance at the Scottish Open, which will be joint-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.
Lahiri had two birdies on 10th and 11th and three bogeys and a double on the sixth. He missed a lot of putts as things just did not fall in place.
It has been a tough run for Lahiri, who missed three starts before this week's John Deere. He was second at the PLAYER's Championship.
Meanwhile, J.T. Poston made up for two back-nine bogeys with an eagle on the par-5 17th, shooting a 4-under 67 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round.
Poston, who was tied second last week in the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, is now 19-under 194 at TPC Deere Run.
Playing partner Denny McCarthy birdied the final two holes for a 66 to join Scott Stallings (64) and Emiliano Grillo (65) at 16-under.
Poston opened with rounds of 62 and 65 to take a four-stroke lead, then played the front nine in 3 under Saturday with birdies on Nos. 2, 5 and 8. He dropped a stroke on the par-3 12th, birdied the par-4 14th and bogeyed the par-4 15th before making the big putt on 17.
The 29-year-old Poston won the 2019 Wyndham Championship for his lone PGA TOUR title.
Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner, was 8 under after a 67 in his 20th consecutive start in the event.
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