Pune: Daksh Agarwal came out with a stunning performance to claim his first Asian Under-14 title, defeating Manas Dhamne 6-4, 6-2 in the MSLTA KPIT Arun Wakankar Memorial ATF Asian Under-14 Series tennis tournament at MSLTA School of Tennis at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Saturday.
In the all-Pune final, Daksh controlled the game right from the start and wrapped up the victory in one hour and 50 minutes.
Manas started well holding serve in the first game. From the second game, Daksh came out in full flow smashing the ball all over the court to take five consecutive games and put pressure on Under-12 National Champion Manas.
Daksh broke his opponent’s serve in third and fifth game and held serve in second, fourth and sixth game. Manas, who had partnered Daksh to claim the doubles title on Friday, fought back into the game taking three consecutive points to make the score line read 5-4.
“I controlled the match right from the start, after I was 5-1 up, he (Manas) rallied back but I had confidence of keeping things in control and won the first set with ease,” said Daksh after the match.
Serving for a set point, Daksh came out with an ace game to take the tenth game 40-love and pocket the first set 6-4.
“He (Manas) is a shorter player so I took advantage of it and played my shots accordingly,” added Daksh, a ninth grader from Wisdom World School.
In the second set, Daksh played in his elements, coming forward and hit cross court smashes to put Manas straight away on back foot by breaking him in the first game.
Continuing his dominance, Daksh broke Manas in the third and fifth game to keep control over the match.
Manas showed glimpse of form and fired few backhand returns but his volleys, which he used as a lethal weapon in previous matches, did not work well, with most of them failing to cross the net.
In the eighth game, when Daksh was serving for match point, Manas came out with a couple of forehand winners but it did not help him much, as Daksh completed his victory by winning the set 6-2.
“In the second set, I just kept hitting the ball in his weak areas and I also used smash and volleys nicely, which earned me points,” explained Daksh who trains under Sangram Chaphekar at Fergusson College.
Third seed Shruti Ahlawat celebrated her maiden visit to Pune by grabbing the singles and doubles title. After winning the doubles title partnering Veda Prapurna, Shruti doubled up her joy with an easy 6-0, 6-3 victory over the same opponent to claim the singles title.
Shruti, who hails from Haryana, came out with a clinical show in the first set and took it 6-0. In the second set, Shruti did not start off well and lost two back to back points before coming back, to win the set 6-3.
“I won the first set with ease. In the second set, I was 2-0 down. It was just a little loss of concentration but I came back easily and won the set 6-3,” said Shruti.
Boys: Daksh Agarwal bt Manas Dhamne 6-4, 6-2.
Girls: 3-Shruti Ahlawat bt Veda Raju Prapurna 6-0, 6-3.