Harshal Rukhaiyar and Salsa Aher posted victories to progress into the semifinals of the BU Bhandari Cup,an under-14 tennis tournament being played at Deccan Gymkhana.
Rukhaiyar beat Nikhil Pradhan with a 4-0,3-5,3-7 scoreline. Rukhaiyar started in an impressive fashion,taking the first game without breaking a sweat. Pradhan,who seemed to be taking some time to adjust to the pace of the court,gradually fought back,pushing his opponent quite close in the next two games. Rukhaiyars powerful hitting from the baseline ensured that he won the day and moved into the last four.
In the other quarter-final fixtures,Aditya Iyer defeated Vikram Patil with a comprehensive 4-0,4-1 victory. Eeshan Lumba and Prasanna Bagde also booked their semifinal spots. Lumba prevailed over Arjun Karmarkar 5-3,4-0 while Bagde defeated Shashwat Rajput 4-0,5-4(3).
In the girls category,Sayuri Garud had to dig deep to beat Ashwagandha Parade in the first quarter-final match of the day. Garud who took the first set 4-2,was pegged back by a spirited Parade,who won the next one 1-4 in emphatic fashion. Garud and Parade were then locked in a tense third set battle which Garud finally edged getting past Parade 7-4.
Salsa Aher also had to fight hard to book a berth in the semi-finals as her match against Mallika Karmarkar also went down to the wire. Karmarkar took the first set 4-2 but Aher seemed to be up for a fight as she took the second set with the same scoreline. In the third set,with the sun beating down,both players looked visibly tired. However,Aher,held her nerve to take the final set 7-4. Shambhavi Nadkarni downed Anaya Thorat 4-2,5-3 while Ratuja Jadhav beat Naheed Khan 4-1,4-2 to complete the semi-final line-up.