» Sports » Sports Shorts: Dani clinches Dutch Open International

Sports Shorts: Dani clinches Dutch Open International

April 15, 2019 16:09 IST
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A summary of sports events and persons who made news on Monday

The 22-year-old, Harsheel Dani was on the sidelines for almost eight months last year due to an ankle injury

IMAGE: The 22-year-old, Harsheel Dani was on the sidelines for almost eight months last year due to an ankle injury. Photograph: Harsheel Dani/Twitter

India's Harsheel Dani recovered from a game down to get the better of Denmark's Mads Christophersen to clinch the Dutch International badminton title in Wateringen, The Netherlands.

Dani, a former junior national champion, clinched his maiden crown of the season with a 15-21, 21-12, 21-13 victory over World No 149 Christopher in a 47-minute clash.

The 22-year-old, who was left on the sidelines for almost eight months last year due to an ankle injury, didn't drop a game on his way to the final but he found the going tough initially in the summit clash.


Dani made simple errors in the opening game to concede the advantage to his opponent but got his bearing right in the second game and took the match to a decider.

"I made a slow start in the first game. I made too many mistakes from my end, plus the player had a different style of play but in the second and the third game I was very steady and kept rallying till I didn't get the chance to finish," Dani told PTI.

"I'm improving step by step. It is an important win for me. It gave me a big boost to my confidence and motivation.

"I will be next playing the Danish International Challenge and Slovenia series," added the Mumbai lad, who had finished at the quarterfinals of Senior National Championship in February this year. 

Dani had won the Ghana International and finished runners-up at Polish International last year.

Prajnesh up to career-high 80 in ATP rankings

Continuing his good run, India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran achieved a career-high ranking of 80 in the latest ATP rankings released on Monday.

The 29-year-old from Chennai, who broke into the top 100 in February this year, climbed two places to become the sixth highest in terms of singles ranking in the history of Indian tennis.

Prajnesh had reached the third round of the Indian Wells tournament in his maiden appearance at an ATP Masters event. He had also made it to the third round of an ATP 1000 Tournament for the first time in his career at the BNP Paribas Open early this year.

He had also entered the main draw of Miami Open to rise to 81 last month.

His Indian counterpart Ramkumar Ramanathan dropped 16 spots to slip out of the top 150 to sit at the 157th position.

MotoGP: Rins takes first win in Texas as Marquez crashes out

Spaniard Alex Rins celebrated a surprise first MotoGP victory with Suzuki in Texas on Sunday as MotoGP champion Marc Marquez crashed out, ending a six-year winning streak at the Grand Prix of the Americas.

Starting on pole for a seventh year in succession, and chasing his seventh win in a row at the Austin circuit, Marquez lost control of his Honda and slid out on the ninth of 20 laps while leading by nearly four seconds.

The bike would not restart and it was race over for the Spaniard.

Yamaha's Italian great Valentino Rossi inherited the lead but could not hold off Rins, who went past on lap 17 and then held on to win by 0.462 seconds.

Australian Jack Miller finished a distant third for the non-works Pramac Ducati team, with Italian Andrea Dovizioso fourth on a factory Ducati to take the championship lead after three races.

Dovizioso has 54 points with Rossi on 51 and Rins moving up to third on 49. Marquez has 45.

"I beat Valentino, this is unbelievable for me," exclaimed Rins, 23, who had started seventh on the grid. "He was my idol when I was very young."

The victory was Suzuki's first in MotoGP since Spaniard Maverick Vinales won the 2016 British Grand Prix.

Rossi, 40-years-old but closer than ever to his 90th win in the top category, did all he could to retake the lead in the closing laps without finding a way past.

The big winner of the day was Dovizioso, who had started 13th on the grid and with every expectation of falling further behind Marquez, rather than taking over at the top from his rival.

The next race is the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 5.

Garin tops Ruud to give Chile first ATP Tour title in 10 years

Christian Garin became the first Chilean to win an ATP Tour title in 10 years when he beat Norway's Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 at the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston on Sunday.

The turning point came at 2-2 in the final set, when Ruud, who was playing in his first ATP Tour final, was unable to capitalise on three break point chances.

Garin broke in the next game by chasing down a drop shot and flicking a forehand winner.

Serving for the title at 5-3, the Chilean then hammered an ace to set up championship point. A heavy forehand on the next point decided the match.

The 22-year-old became the first Chilean to win an ATP Tour title since Fernando Gonzalez in Vina del Mar in 2009.

The victory was Garin's second over the Norwegian in a month. He also defeat Ruud in the Brasil Open semi-finals.

Both players dropped serve twice in the first eight games of the match.

In the tiebreak, Garin, ahead 4-3, rifled a backhand return winner for the mini-break and went on to grab the advantage.

Ruud applied more pressure in the second set, finding the range on his serve and forehand, and eventually got a backhand error from the Chilean on break point to lead 3-2 en route to the set.

Ruud and his father, Christian, are the only Norwegian players to reach a final at this level.

Hercog overcomes Swiatek to seal third career title in Lugano

Slovenian Polona Hercog overcame determined rookie Iga Swiatek 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to win the Lugano Open on Sunday for her first title in seven years.

Hercog, ranked 89 in the world, shot out of the blocks after an hour-long rain delay early in the contest to win the opening set as 17-year-old Swiatek appeared to feel the pressure in the first final of her career.

Poland's Swiatek, last year's Wimbledon junior champion, raised her game midway through the second set to drag the contest into a decider.

However, after a shaky start to the third set where Hercog found herself down 2-0, the 28-year-old relied on her powerful serve to take control of the match before sealing the third title of her career.

Victory for Hercog, who stunned second seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening round, also meant that she is the 17th different winner in as many WTA tournaments this season.

Swiatek's strong showing in the tournament is set to catapult the world number 115 into the top 100 for the first time in her career on Monday.

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