Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Top-seed Mann Maulik Shah outlasted 3rd-seed Kabir Hans from Odisha in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to set up a title clash with 4thseed Madhwin Kamath in the boys section of the India-edition of the Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series at the RK Khanna Tennis Complex, here on Tuesday.
In the Girls’ semi-finals top-seed Salsa Aher lost to 4th-seed Shaikh Humera, while unseeded Sarah Dev caused another upset defeating 2nd-seed Bhakti Shah
Mann Maulik Shah (Gujarat) ran away with the victory, and qualified for the Final match of the competition for the second consecutive year. Whereas, in the other Semi-Final match, it was 4th-seed Madhwin Kamath who came out on top as his opponent, 2nd-seed Dev V Javia could not compete in the second set of the match. After having lost the first set to Kamath 4-6, Javia tried to battle in the second set but had to retire from the match after picking up an injury.
In the Girls’ category 2nd-seed Bhakti Shah, lost to unseeded player from Punjab, Sarah Dev in straight sets 3-6, 4-6. It was Dev who started the match brightly as she rushed a healthy lead to take the first set 6-3, and then managed to consolidate her position in the match as she bagged the second set 6-4.
In the other Semi-Final match, it was a disappointing result for top-seed Maharashtra’s Salsa Aher as she retired in the second set of her match against 4th-seed Shaikh Humera. The latter had started the match well as she took the first set 6-1, Aher did not look comfortable in the second set, and conceded the match.
After the conclusion of the Semi-Finals, the 16 participants from the Boys’ and Girls’ categories were greeted by Roland-Garros Brand Ambassador and legendary Belgian tennis player Justine Henin, who conducted a special tennis clinic for the participants. “The Queen of Clay” had also started her career at the Roland-Garros Junior Tournament when she won the Girls’ singles title in 1997. In her professional life, Henin won seven Grand Slam championships, four of which were earned at the Roland-Garros, and the 36-year-old legend was seen sharing her experience and knowledge with the young Indian players.
The winners of the competition will get a chance to compete at the International Finals of the Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series with winners from China and Brazil, where the eventual winners will get the chance to be a part of the Roland-Garros 2019 Junior Draw.