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Panja stages fine rally

June 03, 2003 21:41 IST

Qualifier Saurav Panja, youngest national champion Sunil Kumar Sipaeya and former Davis Cupper Vishal Uppal (all from India) recorded hard-fought victories on way to the men's singles second round in the $6250 MSLTA-ITF Satellite tennis (first leg) tournament at the Dr Ranade Tennis Centre in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The Kolkata-based Panja rallied magnificinetly after dropping the first set 1-6, to pip another qualifier Yew-Ming Si of Malaysia 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and fourty minutes while the Delhi-based Uppal needed two hours and 36 minutes to sideline compatriot Vishal Punna 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Meanwhile, fifth seed Suissa Tomer of Isreal and seventh seed Katsushi Fukuda of Japan were sent packing by lesser-known opponents.

Qualifier Takeshi Itoh of Japan subdued Tomer 7-5, 6-1 in while Korean qualifier Dong Whee Choi pipped Fukuda 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in match that lasted three hours under scroching sun.

Among the Indians, top seed Sipaeya crushed his unseeded countryman Manoj Mahadevan 6-1, 6-1 while former Davis Cupper Sandeep Kirtane went down fighting to qualifier and Englishman Daniel Kiernan 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) in two hours.

Panja played his heart out after a very bad start. He lost the first set after dropping serve in the fourth and sixth games tamely at 1-6.  However, he fought back well and claimed the second set 6-3 with a single break in the seventh game and then went on to win the match with a break in the sixth game of the decider.


Men's singles (first round): Takeshi Itoh (Jap) bt Tomer Suissa (Isr) 7-5, 6-1; Sunil Kumar Sipaeya (Ind) bt
Manoj Mahadevan (Ind) 6-1, 6-1; Daniel Kiernan (GBR) bt Sandeep Kirtane (Ind) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3); Dong Whee Choi (Kor) bt Katsushi Fukuda (Jap) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Saurav Panja (Ind) bt Yew Ming Si (Mal) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; Vishal Uppal (Ind) bt Vishal Punna (Ind) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Doubles (first round): Prakash Amritraj/ Stephen Amritraj (USA) bt Jaco Mathew (Ind)/ Yew-Ming Si (Mal) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4; Hendri-Susilo Pramono/ Febi Widhiyanto (Ina) bt Kamala Kannan/Vinod Sridhar (Ind) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1; Saurabh Kohli/ Rohan Gajjar (Ind) btRishi Behl/ Aditya Madkekar (Ind) 6-1, 6-1; Mustafa Ghouse/ Vishal Uppal (Ind) bt Shivang Mishra/ Vishal Punna (Ind) 7-6 (7-1), 6-1.

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