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Pro Tennis League: Defending champion Gurgaon Sapphires retains its crown, beats Ichiban Samurai

Defending champion Gurgaon Sapphires did it yet again, as the team beat Ichiban Samurai 81-56 in the final of the Pro Tennis League at the RK Khanna Stadium here on Sunday.

In an entertaining final, in which Gurgaon stumbled to a tough start, the team rose brilliantly through Rithvik Bollipalli, Maan Kesharwani and Sharmada Balu to outclass a team that had won everything till the final.

Rithvik was a class act, serving big and stroking with admirable punch, as he tamed Nitin Kumar Sinha 18-12. Not a bad effort for a doubles specialist. Sharmada and Ruma Gaikaiwari virtually sealed the trophy by beating Sahaja Yamalapalli and Gauri Mangaonkar 15-5.

Leading 77-53 at that stage, Gurgaon needed only four more points to clinch the trophy. In the event, Rithvik fired an ace quite appropriately, in the doubles match with Maan, on the first championship point at 3-3 to close the contest, against Nitin Kumar Sinha and Rushil Khosla.

Rushil had done a great job till the final, but did not get much of a chance to show his ability, especially after he lost to Maan Kesharwani 8-12 in the second singles match of the final.

For the fans who stayed back, it was an exciting evening of exhilarating tennis, as Gurgaon Sapphires pulled the rug under the feet of Ichiban Samurai, with a classic show.

The results (final):
Gurgaon Sapphires bt Ichiban Samurai 81-56 (Sharmada Balu lost to Sahaja Yamalapalli 6-14; Maan Kesharwani bt Rushil Khosla 11-9; Ruma Gaikaiwari bt Gauri Mangaonkar 15-5; Sharmada & Suresh Krishna bt Sahaja & Dilip Mohanty 12-8; Rithvik Bollipalli bt Nitin Kumar Sinha 18-12; Sharmada & Ruma bt Sahaja & Gauri 15-5; Rithivik & Maan bt Nitin & Rushil 4-1).
Semifinals: Gurgaon Sapphires bt Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas 81-64 (Sharmada Balu tied Sowjanya Bavisetti 10-10; Maan Kesharwani tied Vansh Bisht 10-10; Ruma Gaikaiwari lost to Sahira Singh 8-12; Sharmada & Suresh Krishna bt Sowjanya & Pulkit Mishra 13-7; Rithvik Bollipalli bt Arjun Kadhe 20-10; Sharmada & Ruma lost to Sowjanya & Sahira 9-11; Rithvik & Maan bt Arjun & Vansh 11-4).
Ichiban Samurai bt Paramount Proec Tigers 81-75 (Sahaja Yamalapalli bt Sravya Shivani 13-7; Rushil Khosla tied Parikshit Somani 10-10; Gauri Mangaonkar lost to Divya Ungrish 7-13; Sahaja & Dilip Mohanty lost to Sravya & Indra Kumar Mahajan 7-13; Nitin Kumar Sinha bt Vishnu Vardhan 16-14; Sahaja & Gauri bt Sravya & Divya 11-9; Nitin & Rushil bt Vishnu & Parikshit 17-9).
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