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Poonacha to meet Dev, Sai to clash with Soha for tennis titles

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Bengaluru, Jan 15 (IANS) Top seed Nikki Poonacha of Telangana will clash with second seed Prajwal Dev of Karnataka for the men’s title while Tamil Nadu’s seeded second Sai Samhitha Chamarthi will take on host third seed Soha Sadiq of Karnataka in the final of the women’s category of the Rs.2 lakh prize money All India Tennis Association Championship.

In contrasting semi-finals here on Thursday, former national champion Poonacha raced past third seeded Suraj Prabodh 6-2, 6-1. Prabodh struggled with his serve throughout the match and didn’t put up a semblance of resistance against a fired up Poonacha.

In stark contrast, Dev was made to sweat by compatriot and No.4 seed Rishi Reddy. Reddy broke at 3-4 in the first and served out the set at 5-3. The second set saw multiple breaks but a determined Dev dug in and eked out a 6-3 win. Rishi tried hard to fight back in the third but Dev’s smart play didn’t allow him to gain any momentum while blanking his opponent.

In a women’s singles semi-final match, Samhitha proved too strong for qualifier Sanjana Srimalla defeating her in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Sai broke Sanjana at 4-3 in the first set and served it out at 5-3. The second set saw an early exchange of breaks, before Sai stormed back to close off the set and match at 6-3.

In the second women’s semi-final match, local lass Soha Sadiq and the eight seed Reshma Maruri squared off against each other. Games went with serve till three games all in the first set. However, Soha leveraged her power and experience to triumph easily taking the match 6-3, 6-1.

The finals will he held on Saturday with the women’s singles starting at 3 p.m.

Results (semi-finals):

Women’s singles:

Sai Samhitha Chamarthi [2] (TN) bt Sanjana Srimalla (TS) 6-3, 6-3; Soha Sadiq [3] (KAR) bt Reshma Maruri [8] (KAR) 6-3, 6-1

Men’s singles:

Nikki Poonacha [1] (AP) bt Suraj Prabodh [3] (KAR) 6-2, 6-1; Prajwal Dev [2] (KAR) bt Rishi Reddy [4] (KAR) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0




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