Ankita eases past Natasha to clinch ITF Futures crown
Ranked the third best player in the country, Ankita Raina did her reputation no harm as she outclassed compatriot Natasha Palha in straight sets to claim the Women’s ITF Futures Tennis Championship at the Madras Gymkhana on Saturday here. She made short work of her opponent as she won 6-3, 6-1 in a little over an hour.
Though Natasha started off positively, the latter broke her in the third game and swayed the match’s tempo in her favour. Ankita, from Gujarat, sustained the momentum and claimed it 6-3. An attacking Natasha broke Ankita in the first game of the second set. But Ankita made a fast recovery and ran her opponent ragged.
Gaining rhythm, Ankita ‘s ground-strokes found direction and power. Her forehands, down the line and cross-court winners were a delight. She broke her thrice more to wrap up the set 6-1 and the match.
The Tamil Nadu Sports Journalists’ Association (TNSJA) will conduct its annual awards function at Hotel RainTree (Anna Salai) on April 26. Green Valleys Shelters Private Ltd.(GVSPL) is the title sponsor.
India’s tennis legend Ramanathan Krishnan, who reached Wimbledon semis in 1960 and 1961, will receive the GVSPL-Lifetime Achievement Award. Murali Vijay, the highest run-getter in the recent India-Australia Test series, will receive the Sportsperson (male) of the Year award. MD Thirushkamini, one of the country’s upcoming women cricketers, will get the Sportsperson (female) of the Year award.
Awards: GVSPL-Lifetime Achievement award: Ramanathan Krishnan (tennis); GVSPL-TN Sportsperson of the Year (male): M Vijay (cricket); GVSPL- TN Sportsperson of the Year (female): MD Thirushkamini (cricket); Young Achiever award (male): R Ramanathan (tennis); Young Achiever award (female): R Vaishali (chess). Scholarships (`25,000 each): A Nedunchezhiyan (sailing), T Reeth Rishya (table tennis), AV Jayaveena (swimming), R Vignesh (volleyball), R Maria Macfarlane (athletics), K Murali (chess), S Karthick (football), P Naveen Kumar (hockey), K. Jagan (bike racing) & D Ferrario (cricket).