Sahaja beats Viktoria in the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament
Sahaja Yamalapalli took her dream run to a fairy tale conclusion as she tamed a tenacious fourth seed Viktoria Morvayova 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Sunday.
It was a fitting climax to a remarkable run as the 21-year-old Sahaja, ranked a modest 989, kept beating better ranked players, starting with Karman Thandi in the first round.
In an interesting coincidence, Karman had beaten Sahaja in the first round of the last tournament at the same venue and went on to lift the title.
‘’I wanted to beat Karman in the first round. Thereafter, I didn’t have any expectations. I kept playing every match according to the game plan that the coach (Cesar Morales) made. I took the final also as another match, and kept playing my game, as we had worked on my strengths. The title is yet to sink. It is all a dream for me right now’’, said Sahaja, who handled the match with competence.
On her part, Viktoria kept fighting till the finish, as she smacked two winners down the line to save two match points in the tie-break. Sahaja was 4-1 up in the second set, and Viktoria brought it on par.
Sahaja was serving for the match twice at 5-4 and 6-5 in that second set, and the 407th ranked Viktoria broke serve to extend her fight, with the intensity of her strokes and athleticism.
There was no doubt that Sahaja was the better player this day. She got behind every ball she could and hit rousing shots in vacant space, stretching Viktoria to her wit’s end.
Both the players had dropped just one set each on way to the final and provided an entertaining contest that spanned two hours and 20 minutes, for the lucky few at the venue.
This was the second singles title for Sahaja after the one she won in the $15,000 tournament in Nagpur in March.
Tournament Director Vishaal Uppal was happy that Sahaja and the Indian players capitalised on the two events at home to boost their confidence and rank.
Singles (final): Sahaja Yamalapalli bt Viktoria Morvayova (Svk) 6-3, 7-6(5).
India wins eight medals in U-15 Asian Championships
India’s Greco-Roman wrestlers won eight medals at the U-15 Asian championships in Manama on Saturday.
While Sachin (68kg) and Abhay (72kg) clinched gold medals, Pranay Choudhary bagged silver in 52 kg and Varun Kumar in 62 kg categories, respectively.
Varun Sonkar (38 kg), Aditya Kumar (48 kg), Tushar Patil (57 kg) and Hardeep (85 kg) finished with bronze medals.
With 205 Points, Iran clinched Asia Title while Kazakhstan was runner-up with 192 Points and India secured 3rd place as it collected 172 Points.
– Team Sportstar
Three Indians banned for four years for doping
Three Indian athletes have been banned for four years for anti-doping violations, as per a report released by the Athletics Integrity Unit for the month of June.
Adesh Yadav, Anish Khan and Shrikant Malik will be unable to compete till the second half of 2025.
Maharashtra’s Adesh had tested positive for Erythropoetin (EPO) after winning the 5000m event at the National U23 Championships in New Delhi in September 2021. Quartermiler Shrikant and hammer thrower Anish failed out of competition tests.
– Team Sportstar
Indian men win gold, women silver in the IAU 24H Asia and Oceania Championships
Indian ultra runners stole the show in the IAU 24H Asia and Oceania Championships, winning the men’s individual and team titles at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Led by the formidable Amar Singh Devanda, the Indian men’s team clocked a combined total of 739.959 km over the scheduled 24 hours, starting from 8 am on Saturday, to comfortably clinch the gold medal.
Amar Singh managed a personal best of 258.418 km, which was over 18 kilometres more than his previous most.
He was followed home by Saurav Kumar Ranjan (242.564) and Geeno Antony (238.977) to make it a clean sweep for India in the Individual Championships.
Australia (628.405) and Chinese Taipei (563.591) clinched the second and third positions.
On Sunday, the Indian women’s team put up a strong performance to secure the second position. Together, they ran an impressive 570.70 km, threatening the eventual winners all through the day.
Australia, however, clinched the first position with 607.63 kms. Chinese Taipei took the third position with 529.082.
Taipei’s Kuan Ju Lin (216.877 km) took the first position in the women’s individual, while Australia’s Cassie Cohen (214.990) and Allicia Heron (211.442) grabbed the other two places on the podium.
Jamuna Boro among four Indian boxers to enter finals of Elorda Cup
World Championships bronze medallist Jamuna Boro put up another clinical performance and got the better of Kazakhstan’s Anel Sakysh to enter the final of the Elorda cup in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Sunday.
Jamuna, who hails from Assam produced a clinical and dominating performance during her thumping win against the home boxer by a unanimous margin in the 54kg semi-final.
Her speed and footwork were spot on as she managed to evade her opponent’s punches several times before freeing herself up to land a few of her own towards the end of the opening round.
While the Indian dominated the proceedings in the second round, Jamuna’s determination and composure under pressure gifted her the win in a highly competitive final round.
Meanwhile, the other two women- Sakshi (54kg) and Sonia (57kg) ended their campaign with 0-5 and 2-3 defeat against Uzbekistan’s Nigina Uktamova and Sitora Turdibekova respectively.
Jamuna Boro in action. (File Photo) – Special Arrangement
The challenge in the men’s section also ended in the semi-finals as all the four pugilists playing today lost unanimously. While Kuldeep (48kg) and Jugnoo (92kg) lost to Kazakh boxers Asilbek Jalilov and Aibek Oralbey respectively, Anant went down fighting against China’s Fang Bo.
Sachin (57kg) showed great courage and fight against the 2021 World Championships silver medallist Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan but lost the bout eventually.
Late on Saturday night, World Youth Champions Gitika (48kg) and Alfiya (81+Kg) stormed into the final. Gitika won her bout against Uzbekistan’s Marjona Savrieva 4-1, while Alfiya showed her dominance against Valeria Axenova of Kazakhstan as the referee had to stop the contest in the second round.
The inaugural edition of Elorda Cup has been witnessing the presence of top players from strong boxing countries such as India, Uzbekistan, hosts Kazakhstan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.
Four Indian boxers- Kalaivani Srinivasan (48kg), Gitika (48kg), Jamuna (54kg) and Alfiya (81+kg) will play the final on Monday.
The champion boxer will receive USD 700, while the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 400 and USD 200 respectively.