Prerna Bhambri and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bagged the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championship crowns in their respective categories at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex here Saturday.
In the first match of the day on Court 1, women's singles second seed Prerna won the title after her opponent and top seed Rishika Sunkara retired due to fever in the all Delhi clash, with Prerna leading 2-6, 7-6(7), 4-1.
In the men's singles, top seed Nedunchezhiyan of Tamil Nadu overcame Arjun Khade of Maharashtra 7-6(4), 6-1 to bag his first crown here.
In the women's final, Prerna saved two match points in the second set to push the match into the decider where she found legs, taking lead immediately before Rishika retired.
To start with, Prerna Bhambri looked off-colour in the first set as she failed to hold serve even once. In fact, both the players started poorly twice losing their service games in the first four games.
However, from 2-all, Delhi girl Rishika dominantly charged through holding her own serve and breaking Prerna over the next four games, winning the set 6-2.
Though Prerna was approaching the net much more, she made far more errors than her opponent which gifted away the first set.
Both players went into a defensive mode in the second set with neither taking risks in the all important final. The second set proved to be a topsy-turvy one with Rishika pulling away with a safe game to gain 5-2 lead.
However, Prerna finally held serve for the first time in the match and broke Rishika to bring the score to 5-all. Later, the set went into the tiebreak where Prerna saved two match points to stage a comeback and win the set 7-6(7).
By the time the third set began, Rishika looked weary. She managed to hold serve once. But Prerna had found her touched and raced away to 4-1. However, Rishika went to the umpire and told him, she could not continue due to high fever, conceding the match to Prerna.
"I am pretty glad to win. Rishika was not feeling well but she played well. My match was better than the semifinal. The start was not that great but I came back well to win the next set," said the new national winner who is heading to Australia to participate in the Asia Pacific Australian Open Wildcard Playoff from Oct 17.
In the men's singles between Nedunchezhiyan and Kadhe, the first set was forced into the tiebreak which the top seed won with ease.
The second also went one way with Nedunchezhiyan winning all but one games.
"I concentrated well. I did not expect to win despite the billing and was taking one match at a time. Quarterfinal onwards I felt really confident about my game. My main problem was a stomach infection which was causing problems but it did not affect me much during this tournament. I am glad to win my first title here in Delhi in over 10 years," said the national champion who will next play two ITF tournaments in Mumbai and Pune in the coming month to improve his ranking.
Men’s singles: Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat Arjun Kadhe 7-6(4), 6-1
Women's singles: Prerna Bhambri beat Rishika Sunkara 2-6, 7-6(7), 4-1 (Retd.)
Boys U-18 singles: Rishabh Aggarwal beat Karan Salwan 6-1, 6-2
Girls U-18 singles: Pranjala Yadlappali beat Tarannum Handa 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5.