Batyutenko, Saito lift singles titles in Asian Junior Tennis Championship

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AFTER HER double crown in last week’s ITF Junior Grade-3 U18 tennis Championships, Japanese tennis player Sara Saito clinched the girls singles title at the Aryan Pumps Asian Junior Tennis Championship on Saturday. With overall three titles, Saito is very happy to have had a wonderful two weeks in India.

At the Deccan Gymkhana, in a battle between the best, both the finals of the week-long tournament were games to watch. Saito played against Shruti Ahluwat to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-0, while among the boys, it was Kazakhstan’s Max Batyutenko who triumphed in a 6-2, 6-1 match against Saheb Sodhi.

Saito opened her account early in set one. But after Ahlawat put up a good fight, Saito lost her momentum to lose the first set 5-7. “The call for fault turned out to be an ace. I think that changed my flow as she was in a difficult situation and then she became aggressive when it came to 5-4. There were lots of emotions as I did want to take the first set,” said Saito.

Rallying stronger with a calm mind, Saito bounced back strongly to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-0.

The boys’ final, which lasted for just about an hour, was a lopsided affair. It was Batyutenko’s second win in his run-in with Sodhi in the ITF circuit.

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