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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.

HSB

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.

HSB

Khalin Joshi turns the tables, wins the  Jaipur Open 

Newsroom24x7 Network

Khalin Joshi -winner

Jaipur: Khalin Joshi’s final round of three-under 67 proved good enough for him to turn the tables on nearest rival and fellow Bengalurean M Dharma and emerge victorious at the Rs. 40 lakh Jaipur Open at the par-70 Rambagh Golf Club (RGC) here on Friday.

Joshi (61-66-64-67), who made a dramatic three-putt from four feet on the last hole to end the tournament with a bogey, won by one shot as he totaled 22-under 258 for the week.

Khalin’s fifth career title ended his three-year-long victory drought. The 29-year-old Joshi, who hails from the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course, overcame the disappointment of his runner-up finish in Delhi last week as bagged a winning cheque worth Rs. 6,46,600 to move up from fifth to third in the PGTI Order of Merit. He made six birdies and three bogeys on the last day.

Dharma (62-62-65-70), the overnight leader by two shots, slipped to second place with an even-par 70 on the last day as he struggled to hole putts. He ended the week with a total of 21-under 259.

Sunit Chowrasia (64) of Kolkata and Harendra Gupta (65) of Chandigarh took tied third place at 20-under 260. Chowrasia’s round featured seven birdies and a bogey while Gupta had an eagle, four birdies, and a bogey.

Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu produced the best round of the tournament, a 10-under 60, to claim tied seventh place at 18-under 262. Yuvraj sank an eagle on the 18th from five feet and also made nine birdies and a bogey during his round.

Khalin Joshi, whose last title came at the Asian Tour’s Panasonic Open India in 2018, had a promising start when he almost holed out from 100 yards on the first to set up an easy birdie. After a bogey on the second, Khalin rallied with 15-feet birdie conversions on the sixth and eighth.

Joshi’s bogey on the 12th did not derail his round as he came back stronger once again with birdies on the 13th, 14th, and 17th to take a three-shot lead and emerge favourite for the title. He bogeyed the last hole after a three-putt from four feet to finally win by just one shot.

Khalin, who was playing in Jaipur after four years, said, “It’s a huge relief and very satisfying to end a long wait for victory especially after coming so close last week. I was happy to find some form over the last few weeks. My game was shaping up well so I knew that it was just a matter of time before I won.

Dharma, missed out on opportunities on the greens as his putts didn’t roll in. He led the field for the first six holes of the day. He then made three birdies but an equal number of bogeys that slowed him down. He had a stroke of bad luck on the 15th tee when his belt accidentally came off and got entangled with his hands during his swing resulting in a poor tee shot and a bogey.

Delhi’ Sachin Baisoya (64) and Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa (65) took tied fifth place at 19-under 261.

Delhi’s Ajay Baisoya made a hole-in-one on the sixth during his final round of 67. Baisoya, who made another eagle on the 17th, signed off with a total of 14-under 266 to secure tied 14th place. Pune’s  Udayan Mane (64) was tied ninth at 17-under 263.

Hemendra Choudhary (66-70-68-72), playing at his home course, finished tied 39th at four-under 276.

HSB

Amateur Avani shares three-way lead with  experienced Vani and Amandeep in 10th leg of Hero WPGT

Harpal Singh Bedi

Chandigarh: Amateur Avani Prashanth overcame a string of bogeys on the front nine to share a three-way lead with seasoned professionals Vani Kapoor and Amandeep Drall after two rounds of the 10th leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour at the Chandigarh Golf Club.

Amandeep Drall (68-74) had a tentative round with three bogeys on the front nine against just one birdie on the back, while Vani Kapoor (72-70) carded six birdies against an opening double bogey and two bogeys, including a late one on 17th, for a round of 2-under 70.

Vani, who has been trying to re-discover the form that made her a dominant force on the domestic circuit, had a terrific run through the second round. 

Despite a double-bogey on first, she quickly fought back with birdies on second and third and then added another birdie on seventh to turn in one-under. On the back nine, after a bogey on 10th, she reeled off three birdies in a row from 12th to 14th but dropped a shot on 17th.

Avani, who also opened with a bogey had four bogeys against three birdies in her card of 73.

With totals of 2-under 142 each, the three will go out together in the final group on the final day and it promises to be a tight battle, as Vani and Amandeep seek their first win in 2021 and Avani chases her second title this year.

Jahanvi Bakshi, who carded 71 in the first round, was 1-over 73 and was lying two shots adrift of the three leaders in sole fourth place. Her sister Hitaashee (75-73), was tied alongside amateur Puneet K Bajwa (72-76) in fifth place. Rhea P Saravanan (75-74) and Gaurika Bishnoi (75-74) were tied seventh at 149, while Pranavi Urs (75-75) and Seher Atwal (71-79) completed the Top-10.

The cut fell at 158 and among the prominent names missing from the final day draw were Afshan Fatima and Smriti Mehra.

A total of 22 players will play the final round in the Rs.10 lakh event.

HSB