Mumbai: Karnataka’s Vasisht Vinod Cheruku, the fourth seed in the boy’s Under-16 singles event was the biggest casualty on the opening day of the Babolat 8th Ramesh Desai National Championship for boys’ and girls’ Under-16 and Under-12, being organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA).

In a first round match, Cheruku started off well by comfortably winning the opening set against unseeded Manish S. of Tamil Nadu. But, thereafter he was unable to maintain the momentum and went on to lose the next two sets as Manish who played steadily pulled through winning at 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 at the Practennis courts, Andheri on Monday. However, there were no such problems for the top two seeds, Nikshep B.R. of Karnataka and Punjab’s Paramveer Singh Bajwa as they easily sailed into the second round.

Top seed Nikshep encountered initial resistance from Utkarsh Bhardwaj of Uttarakhand before easing to a 7-5, 6-2 victory, while second seed Bajwa packed off Gujarat’s Himanshu Mehta, winning at 6-3, 6-2.In girl’s under-16 singles action, Sarah Dev of Punjab fought back from the loss of the opening set to overcome qualifier Humera Shaikh of AP 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, at the MSLTA Courts, Cooperage Road.  She will meet fifth seed Nandini Sharma of Punjab in the next round.

In another match which went the distance qualifier Angella Raman of Haryana showed solid fighting spirit to prevail over Karnataka’s Soha S. 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and will run into ninth seed Jennifer Luikham also from Haryana in the second round.

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