Kirrtane keeps cool to enter semis

Bangalore, Sep 12 (IANS): Nitten Kirrtane took sweet revenge by defeating Vinod Sridhar 7-5, 7-5 to enter the men's singles semifinals of the DS Max AITA prize-money tennis tournament at the KSLTA Stadium here Thursday.

The top seeded Maharashtra veteran had lost to Sridhar in last year's final and the victory, which came after a two-hour tussle, was highly satisfying for Kirrtane.

"It feels to good to beat Sridhar but by no means it was easy," said Kirrtane, who proved he is still a player to reckon with despite being in late 30s.

Kirrtane began in rousing fashion racing to a 4-1 lead in the first set before Sridhar pulled back to win four games on the trot for a 5-4 advantage and also holding two set points. But Kirrtane clawed his way back to level at 5-all and held serve. He went on to break Sridhar in the 12th to take the first set.

In the second set, it was Sridhar who had the advantage as he took a 2-0 lead, but the wily Kirrtane struck back to level at 2-all. Thereafter, the games went to serve until 5-all when Kirrtane came up with two solid games to wrap up the match.

Kirrtane will take on fourth seed Chandril Sood of Uttar Pradesh, who beat his brother and fifth seed Lakshit Sood 6-4, 7-5 while in the other semifinal, second seed Mohit Mayur of Tamil Nadu faces qualifier Rishabdev Raman.

Mayur stopped qualifier Rishab Agarwal 6-3, 6-2 while Raman prevailed over Vijay Kannan, who retired with a cramp after dropping the first set 5-7.

In women's singles, Adnya Naik of Maharashtra led the field into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Pragati Nataraj of Tamil Nadu and so did second seed Sai Samhita of Andhra Pradesh, who beat Amrita Mukherjee 6-3, 6-4.

Qualifier Riya Bhatia ended the good run of wildcard Asha Nandakumar 6-3, 6-3 and made the semis while Smriti Joon of Haryana took the final spot in the penultimate round beating Nithyaraj Baburaj 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

Quarterfinal results:

Men's singles: Nitten Kirrtane bt Vinod Sirdhar 7-5, 7-5; Chandril Sood bt Lakshit Sood 6-4, 6-3; Rishabdev Raman bt Vijay Kannan 7-5 (retd); Mohit Mayur bt Rishab Agarwal 6-3, 6-2.

Women's singles: Adnya Naik bt Pragati Nataraj 6-4, 6-1; Smriti Joon bt Nithyaraj Baburaj 5-7, 6-2, 6-1; Riya Bhatia bt Asha Nandakumar 6-3, 6-3; Sai Samhita bt Amrita Mukherjee 6-3, 6-4.


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Title: Kirrtane keeps cool to enter semis

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