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Ashutosh, Isha are national champions

October 05, 2007 18:11 IST

Local favourite Ashutosh Singh and defending champion Isha Lakhani won the men's and women's singles title respectively of the DSCL Open National Tennis Championships held in New Delhi on Friday.

Second seed Asuthosh tamed highly talented youngster Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4, 7-6 (4) in an hour and 36 minutes to win his maiden senior title.

Earlier, Maharashtara's Isha Lakahani outplayed Tamil Nadu's Rushmi Chakravarthy 6-4, 6-1 for her third consecutive national title.

Prajnesh, however, had some consolation as he won the junior title beating Chandigarh's Vijayant Malik 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the boys' under-18 competition.

In men's singles, Prajnesh went down in straight sets but not before showing glimpses of his class. The 17-year-old from Chennai fought hard, served strong and made Ashutosh earn his points.

Ashutosh served big throughout and often came to net, played some intimidating overhead smashes to put pressure on his young opponent.

Prajensh gave only one chance to Ashutosh in the first set when he was down 30-40 in the third game and that was enough for the senior pro to take a 2-1 lead and ultimately go 1-0 up in the match.

The new national champion and runner-up were given wild cards for the upcoming Challenger tournaments to be held in New Delhi later this year.

While Ashutosh has been given wild card for the USD 50,000 competition, scheduled to start from December 26, Prajensh has been alotted a berth for another event slated to start from December 3.

"Both Ashutosh and Prajnesh have played outstanding tennis throughout the tournament, so to provide them an opportunity to play at a higher level we are giving them wild cards for the challengers," Anil Khanna, AITA General Secretary said.

All India Tennis Association has decided to support talented players like Ashutosh, Prajnesh and Yuki Bhambri in future.

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