Pune to host first Maharashtra Tennis League from January 2-6
Pune will host the inaugural Maharashtra Tennis League from January 2 - 6. The announcement was made by Aniruddha Deshpande and Nandan Bal on Thursday and the logo of the league was also unveiled. This is a first of its kind initiative in tennis and will feature six franchises with six players each. Every franchise would have two women players. Also every franchise will have at least one player from Maharashtra. Chief Patron of the Maharashtra Tennis League, Nandan Bal said that top Indian tennis players like Purav Raja, Saketh Myneni, Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Neduncheziyan will take part in the league. Olympian Vishnu Vardhan has also confirmed his participation along with rising star and current Indian Davis Cup player Yuki Bhambri. Technical director of the league, Hemant Bendrey said the league will be held on a ‘best of games’ format. A pool of 80 players have been selected for auction based on their AITA rankings. Promising juniors have also been included in the player pool. The team allotment ceremony will be held on November 24.
Amritraj and Myneni book semis berth
Prakash Amritraj and Saketh Myneni kept the Indian flag flying in the Solaris ITF Futures tennis championship by reaching the semi-finals. Myneni dumped defending champion Jeevan Neduncheziyan 7-6(5), 6-2 in the quarterfinals. The Hyderabad lad was in control against the current national Champion throughout the match which lasted for 106 minutes. Prakash Amritraj upset third seed Liang-Chi Huang of Taipei 7-6(4), 6-1. Nicolas Reissig of Austria trounced second seed N Sriram Balaji 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a gripping three-setter. Balaji put up a valiant fight saving four match points in the ninth game but Reissig ultimately prevailed and closed out the match in the subsequent game. Number one seed Christopher Rungkat had a relatively easy quarterfinal tie against Croatian Mate Pavic. The experienced Rungkat hammered out an easy 6-2, 6-1 win against the 19-year-old Croat in just over 55 minutes. In the doubles semi-final Saketh Myneni and Purav Raja dispatched VM Ranjeeth and Vijay Sundar Prashant 6-4, 7-6(5). Number one seed Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia will take on Saketh Myneni in the first semi-final on Friday while Prakash Amritraj will face Austrian Nicolas Reissig. In the doubles event, Saketh Myneni and Purav Raja will take on N Sriram Balaji and Arun Prakash Rajagopalan in the final on Friday.
Poona Tuskers, Thane