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Indians take three semis berth in tennis

October 28, 2003 22:29 IST

India's Vijay Kannan, Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthy kept their reputation intact, breezing past weak opponents to reach the singles semi-finals of the individual events in the tennis competition of the Afro-Asian Games on Tuesday.

Playing their first individual matches, all the three, with a bye in the pre-quarters, fully capitalised on the weak field as India took another step closer to sweeping all the seven golds on offer in the tennis competition.

The hosts have already claimed the yellow metal in the men's and women's team events.

In the men's section, Vijay Kannan overcame a late fightback by Harshana Godamana to win 6-1, 7-5 and set up a semi-final clash with Sunday Maku of Nigeria, who quelled a strong challenge from Joseph Victorino of The Philippines in the other quarter-final.

Top seeded Prakash Amirtraj, the other Indian in the singles main draw, will play tomorrow when the other semi-finalists will be decided.

Second seeded Rushmi continued with her lacklustre game and found herself in a spot of bother against Berthe Khady of Senegal before prevailing 6-3, 7-6(2) while top seeded Sania toyed with her Zimbabwean opponent Fadzai Mawisire to triumph 6-1, 6-0 in the quarter-finals.

Tomorrow, Rushmi will play third seed Sandy Gumulya of Indonesia, who gave a scare to Sania in the team event final yesterday.

Sandy defeated Clara Udofa of Nigeria 6-1, 7-6(2) to move into the semis.

Sania, the Wimbledon girls' doubles champion, will play Czarina Arevalo, who defeated Indonesia's Septi Mende 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 in a tough encounter.

Vijay Kannan dominated the first set to take it in just 18 minutes. But the left-handed Sri Lankan improved his game in the next and broke Kannan in the second and fourth games to take a 4-0 lead.

Kannan kept his cool and turned tables in the very next game, holding three break-points and clinched it with a superb forehand down-the-line winner. He kept up the pressure attacking from the net regularly and made his rival to commit errors and found another break in the seventh to wrest the initiative.

After games went with serve, Kannan again broke Gondamana in the 11th, coming up with a delightful drop volley from the net and a down the line winner to go up 6-5 and take the match comfortably.

Results:

Men's singles (quarter-finals): Vijay Kannan (IND) bt Harshana Godamana 6-1, 7-5; Sunday Maku (NGR) bt Joseph Victorina (PHIL) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(6).

Women's singles (quarter-finals): Sania Mirza (IND) bt Fadzai Mawisire (ZIM) 6-1, 6-0; Czarina Arevalo (PHIL) bt Septi Mende (INA) 6-1, 7-6 (5); Sandy Gumulya (INA) bt Clara Udofa (NGR) 6-1, 7-6 (2); Rushmi Chakravarthy (IND) bt Khady Berthe (SEN) 6-2, 6-4.

Mixed doubles: Jhonny Arcilla/Patricia Santos (PHIL) bt Rotimi Jegede/Osaro Amadin (NGR) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Adelo Abadia/Czarina Arevalo (PHIL) bt Sunday Maku/Clara Udofa (NGR) 7-6(7-2), 6-4.

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