Tennis Premier League: Yuki to lead Delhi Binny’s Brigade   

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: Former junior World No. 1, Yuki Bhambri will spearhead Delhi Binny’s Brigade challenge in the star-studded, eight-team competitive field in the 3rd edition of the Tennis Premier League, to be played at the Celebration Club, Andheri, Mumbai from December 9 to 14.

Announcing this, TPL Co-Founders  Kunal Thakkur, ex-National Player, and Mrunal Jain told media persons at the DLTA, here, which was also the first of the two Talent Days held in the city to pick the rest of the Delhi Binny’s Brigade squad.

Kashish Bhatia won the women’s event at the Talent Day and will fill the second women players slot for Delhi Binny’s Bridge, while runner-up Prerna Bhambri will turn out for Chennai Stallions.

Also present on the occasion were Ankita Bhambri, mentor of the Delhi team, Nandan Bal, Ex-Davis Cup, and Fed Cup coach and mentor of the Chennai Stallions, Zeeshan Ali, Davis Cup coach, Rohit Rajpal, Captain of the Davis Cup team, and Aditya Khanna, Captain of the over-35 Indian team and a member of the Delhi squad.

Team owners Sneh Patel, of Delhi Binny’s Brigade and Shailesh and Sonal Alagiya of Chennai Stallions, were also present.

Yuki, winner of the 2009 Australian Open Junior Championship and flagbearer for the Indian Davis Cup squad for many years, will have Manish Sureshkumar and Thailand’s Peantarn Plipuech as teammates.

Davis cuppers, Saketh Myneni (Pune Jaguars), Ramkumar Ramanathan (Mumbai Leon Army) Purav Raja (Chennai Stallions) Jeevan N (Bengaluru Spartans) Arjun Kadhe (Hyderabad Strikers) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (Rajasthan Tigers) Divij Sharan (Gujarat Panthers,) will lead their respective teams.

The enhanced TPL 3.0 will have India No. 1 Ankita Raina and Rutuja Bhosle, besides participation from six international women players, who are Samantha Murray Sharan from Great Britain, ranked 206, Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia, ranked 262, Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech, ranked 294, Sabina Sharipova of Uzbekistan, ranked 317, Valeriya Strakhova of Ukraine, ranked 379 and Sofia Shapatava.

In the player’s auction, held in Mumbai in March this year, Ramkumar Ramanathan emerged the surprise pick, garnering the highest bid of the day of Rs 4.5 lakhs, and was picked by the Mumbai Leon Army.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran was picked by Rajasthan Tigers for Rs 3.70 lakhs, while Saketh Myneni went to Pune Jaguars for Rs 4.40 lakhs. Divij Sharan was picked by Gujarat Panthers for 4.10 lakhs, while Purav Raja went to the Chennai Stallions for 3 lakhs.

Ankita Raina garnered the highest price for women’s players, picked by Hyderabad Strikers for 4.10 lakhs, while Rutuja Bhosle was picked by Pune Jaguars for Rs 3 lakhs

While each team picked two men’s and one women’s player at the auction, another men’s and women’s player for each team will emerge from the Talent Days.

Kunal Thakkur and Mrunal Jain promise an enthralling championship this year and aim to create an environment that is the perfect amalgamation of sports and entertainment.

Kunal said, “We are excited that this year we will also be having international players playing in the League. We are so happy that the entire tennis fraternity comes forward every year to make this league a success. The intention is to make tennis win and we are extremely grateful to AITA and MSLTA for their unconditional support.”

“We are thankful to all our owners and sponsors who have shown such faith in our league. All I can say is that this is just the beginning. We intend to make the league one of its kind in India. The live telecast of all matches will be something very exciting for Indian tennis players and their fans,” said Mrunal Jain.

A total of 250 players have already registered for the Delhi Talent day in various categories, who will be vying for the different age group slots on the Delhi team.

  The teams:

Mumbai Leon Army: Ramkumar Ramanathan, Nikki Poonacha, Sofia Shapatava (Gerogia)

Delhi Binny’s Brigade: Yuki Bhambri, Manish Sureshkumar, Peangtarn Plipuech (Thailand)

Chennai Stallions: Purav Raja, Sidharth Rawat, Samantha Murray Sharan (Great Britain)

Bengaluru Spartans: Jeevan N, N Srirama Balaji, Sabina Sharipova (Uzbekistan)

Hyderabad Strikers: Arjun Kadhe, Vishnu Vardhan, Ankita Raina

Rajasthan Tigers: Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Aryan Goveas, Diana Marcinkevica (Latvia)

Gujarat Panthers: Divij Sharan, Vijay Sundar Prashant, Valeryla Strakhova (Ukraine)

Pune Jaguars: Saketh Myneni, Ishaque Iqbal, Rutuja Bhosle.

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Amandeep cards superb 65 to win 10-leg of Hero WPGT

Harpal Singh Bedi

Amandeep Drall in action during final round at Chandigarh Golf Club.JPG

Chandigarh: Amandeep Drall fired eight birdies against just one bogey for a superb 7-under 65 to claim the 10th leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour by three shots at the Chandigarh Golf Club.

The win also cemented Amandeep’s place on top of the Hero Order of Merit, which she was already leading.

Amateur Avani Prashanth, who shared the overnight lead with Amandeep after two rounds, was left three shots behind despite a fine 4-under 68. She finished in second place. Vani Kapoor tripped to one-over 73 and was fourth, while Jahanvi Bakshi (68) was third.

Amandeep, for whom this was her first title in 2021, finished with a superb 9-under 207, while Avani was 6-under 210 and Jahanvi was 4-under 212. Vani Kapoor also had an under-par total of 1-under 215.

Amandeep, who gained tremendously by competing in Europe over the last few months, had started the week with 4-under 68 before slipping on the second day with 74.

In the final round, she fell back by two shots after the first hole as she bogeyed the first, and playing partner and overnight co-leader, Avani had a birdie on the same hole.

Soon after Amandeep found her form as she birdied second, fourth, sixth, and seventh to turn in 3-under 33. Avani dropped a shot on fourth where Amandeep had a birdie for a two-shot swing. That helped Amandeep move up by one. Like Amandeep, Avani also birdied the sixth and seventh but was still one behind at the turn.

On the back nine, Amandeep drove off on her own with three birdies in a row from 11th to 13th, while Avani had gained only on 13th. Both birdied the 16th but with two holes left and three shots clear Amandeep made no mistake and Avani was unable to find any more birdies.

Jahanvi Bakshi could have given Avani a run for second place but suffered a double bogey on the Par-3 14th, and even three birdies in the last three holes for a 68 gave her only the third place.

Vani Kapoor could not get her putts to fall and finished with two birdies against three bogeys in her 73.

Gaurika Bishnoi shot her best card of the week at 2-under 70 and was tied fifth with Hitaashee Bakshi (71), while the winner of the ninth leg, 

Lakhmehar Pardesi (72) was tied seventh with Pranavi Urs (73). Amateur Puneet K Bajwa (77) and Seher Atwal (76) completed the Top-10.

It was a good low-scoring event with no less than 10 under par rounds and the top four players finishing with under par totals in the Rs.10 lakh event.

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M Dharma dominates round two with a second straight 62, opens three-shot lead at Jaipur Open 

Newsroom24x7 Network

Jaipur: Bengaluru’s M Dharma dominated round two with a second straight eight-under 62,  to open up a three-shot lead at 16-under 124 at the Rs. 40 lakh Jaipur Open at the par-70 Rambagh Golf Club (RGC) here on Wednesday.  

The 35-year-old Dharma (62-62), who was tied second and one off the lead after round one, is now well-placed to improve upon his two third-place finishes in the previous two editions of the Jaipur Open. 

The two-time winner on the PGTI, currently placed 18th in the PGTI Order of Merit, sank an eagle and seven birdies at the cost of a solitary bogey on Wednesday.

Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (64-63) had an astonishing run of six successive birdies on the back-nine during his second round of 63. He moved up four spots to tied second at 13-under 127.

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (61-66), the round one leader, slipped to tied second along with Ahlawat after the second round of 66 that featured an eagle, four birdies, and two bogeys.

Last week’s winner Viraj Madappa (64) of Kolkata and Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (65) were in tied fourth place at 12-under 128.PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (64) of Chandigarh was in sixth at 11-under 129.Pune’s Udayan Mane (65) was tied eighth at nine-under 131.

The cut fell at three-under 137. Fifty professionals made the cut for the money rounds.      

M Dharma had one of his best days with the putter in recent times. He sank birdies from a range of 10 to 15 feet on the first, third, fourth, and sixth. Dharma then missed an eagle by the narrowest of margins as his approach shot from 100 yards out stopped inches from the flag. He tapped in for birdie there. His only bogey of the day came on the second hole.

On the back-nine, Dharma made further gains with a 20-feet birdie and a 25-feet eagle conversion on the 10th and 18th respectively. He also picked up a birdie on the 13th.   

Dharma said, “Earlier in the season I was struggling with my putting but now my putting is much improved and that has resulted in my good scores. I had an exceptional day considering I didn’t pick up strokes on three out of the four par-5s. It was good to end the day with an eagle as it was a huge confidence booster for me.

Veer Ahlawat had a dream run of six straight birdies from the 13th to the 18th. He then had a relatively quieter front-nine, adding just one more birdie on his closing ninth hole.

Khalin Joshi was three-under over the first 10 holes but then had an up and down last eight holes collecting an eagle and a birdie in exchange for two bogeys.

Jaipur’s Hemendra Choudhary (66-70), playing at his home course, was placed tied 32nd at four-under 136. Choudhary was the only Jaipur-based player to make the cut.
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Team India CS: GO and Tekken7 star Hitesh Khorwal  in finals of  13th Esports World Championship 

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: India’s five-member Team CS:GO and Tekken7 athlete Hitesh Khorwal put up impressive performances at the Regional Qualifiers and qualified for the  Finals of the 13th Esports World Championship.

With contrasting results in the Regional Qualifiers, which were played online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Team India CS: GO and Hitesh have now joined Hemanth Kommu, who has already entered the Finals in PES 2021 event last month.

Team India CS:GO, comprising skipper Ritesh Sarda, Shuvajyoti Chakraborty, Anshul Adardkar, Hrishikesh Shenoy, Harsh Jain, and Ninad Sonare (sub), looked quite dominant throughout the event. Their brilliant strategies and unmatched skills left the opponent clueless as they remained unbeaten in their respective group.

In the Regional Qualifiers India is placed in the South Asian region alongside Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. The Finals are scheduled to be held offline in Eilat, Israel from November 14 to 19.

“We are really happy that we made it out of a really competitive South Asian qualifier for the tournament. It’s an honour to be part of Team India at a global level and represent India at the prestigious Esports Championship. It’s a dream come true for all of us and full credit for this feat goes to all my team members” said Team India CS:GO, captain Ritesh adding “we are capable of accomplishing what other countries have done in Esports” 

On the other hand, Delhi-based Hitesh faced tough challenges from his opponents as he ended his campaign at the third position. However, the Indian still progressed into the Finals after the first-placed Pakistani athlete Arslan pulled out from the Championship following the Regional Qualifiers stage.  

“This moment gives me a sense of accomplishment and honour that my diligence and commitment finally paid off. NESC was an apex event of Tekken since it showcased all the titans and goliaths of India so I was a bit tentative but I had ample confidence in hard work and dexterity.  Regional Qualifiers which followed after the NESC also was a huge test of ability as all of my competitors were masters of their trade. It was a great opportunity to test my expertise and overall” said Hitesh 

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