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Rajagopalan, Lakhani complete double

December 13, 2003 20:47 IST

Arun Prakash Rajagopalan and Isha Lakhani completed an Indian double winning the boy's and girl's event respectively of the Asian Junior Tennis Championship at the DLTA grounds in New Delhi on Saturday.

Fourth seed Rajagopalan outplayed third seed Chu-Huan Yi of Chinese Taipei 6-4, 6-4 while Lakhani's opponent, top seed Yung-Jan Chan, conceded the tie citing back trouble after trailing 4-6, 0-3.

This was India's second title in both the categories with Sunil Kumar Sipaeya winning the boy's title in 2001 and Sania Mirza claiming the girl's crown last year.

Rajagopalan, who is playing in his last year in the junior circuit, played a near flawless game and never gave a chance to Yi to make a match of it.

However, the euphoria of the victory was somewhat marred in the end due to a bad call by the linesman on the point which gave the Indian his title.

While everyone was convinced that Rajagopalan's serve was wide the linesman considered it to be a good one giving the  south-paw his title winning point.

Yi, who refused to leave the court, protested against the decision but finally accepted the verdict while the linesman was booed by some spectators.

This moment notwithstanding, Rajagopalan totally controlled the outcome of the tie.

The serve and volley specialist raced to a 4-0 lead at the start of the match and then never looked under pressure claiming the first set 6-4.

The second set was a closer affair with the Chinese Taipei player showing glimpses of his capability. But Yi, who is more of a rythm player, never looked comfortable on the court and lost  his serve on the fifth and seventh game to give the initiative  to his opponent.

Earlier, in the girl's final, Lakhani was forced on the backfoot by Chan in the begining as she broke the Indian's serve in the fifth game of the first set.

But Lakhani, the top Indian women player, brought all her experience in play to claim back the break in the tenth game and then broke her opponent's serve in the 12th to take the set.

The winners will get 120 ranking points while the runners-up of the championship will gather 80 points.

In the Under-14 event which was played for the first time in the tournament, Shweta Kakhandki of India defeated E Ashmit 7-5, 6-0 to lift the girl's title while A B Dewantoro of Indonesia got the better of Agnel Gladwin of India 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 to take the boy's event.

Both the winners would now be sent to Spain for a one month training at the ITF training centre.

The organisers said the Asian Tennis Federation would request the Australian academy to enroll the losing finalist and semi finalist in their academy for a month's training.

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