Pro Tennis League: Lucknow Aviators, Indraprastha Warriors top points table on Day 1
Fifth season of the Harven Pro Tennis League got underway in the national capital with two ties ending in blowouts while two witnessed edge-of-the-seat stuff
On the opening day of the fifth season of the Harven Pro Tennis League (PTL), Lucknow Aviators, last year’s runners-up Paramount Proec Tigers, Ichiban Samurai and Indraprastha Warriors registered wins at the RK Khanna Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.
In the day’s early ties, Lucknow Aviators convincingly beat DMG Delhi Crusaders 88-72 while Paramount Proec Tigers staged a comeback to defeat Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas 83-77. Meanwhile, in the evening set of ties, Indraprastha Warriors comfortably beat Mumbai Acers 88-72 while Inchiban Samurai were far too good for defending champions Gurgaon Sapphires (83-77).
The set of results put Indraprastha Warriors and Ichiban Samurai in top-two places from Group A. While Lucknow Aviators and Paramount Proec Tigers held the top two spots in Group B. The top-two teams will qualify for the semi-final on Sunday with the teams ranked based on points won.
With matches featuring women’s, men’s pros; men’s and women’s Next Gen players and Masters in singles and doubles formats, it promised to be a close affair and it delivered. Played on parallel courts at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA), the fifth edition of the PTL witnessed matches going close from the very first ties in the city’s afternoon. Paramount Proec Tigers were neck-and-neck, on 30-30, after three matches before conceding a four-point deficit following the fifth match where Arjun Kadhe thumped Vishnu Vardhan 18-12. It gave Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas a 57-53 lead.
In the doubles matches that followed, Sravya Shivani & Divya Ungrish beat Sowjanya Bavisetti & Sahira Singh (13-7) to turn things around before Vishnu Vardhan & Parikshit Somani ensured the win when they held the upper hand over Arjun Kadhe & Vansh Bisht (17-13).
If this was a close contest, the tie between DMG Delhi Crusaders and Lucknow Aviators was a blowout. Jennifer Luikham and Kashish Bhatia played out a nervy 10-10 draw in the 20-point tiebreak format in the first match. But in the subsequent matches, Lucknow Aviators’ Shivank Bhatnagar and Diva Bhatia gave the team a sizeable 16-point lead when they trounced Sarthak Suden and Somya Arya respectively.
Karan Singh did give the DMG Delhi Crusaders reason to celebrate briefly with a 17-13 win over Anirudh Chandrasekar but the damage was already done. In a format where every point matters, this defeat may come back to haunt DMG Delhi Crusaders and their quest to qualify for the semi-finals.
The evening ties followed the theme of the day with one remaining close while the other was a one-sided affair. Indraprastha Warriors registered 14-6 and 18-12 wins in the Women’s Pro & Master’s Pro Doubles matches followed by men’s singles matches. It gave them a 14 point lead which the team maintained until the end.
Ichiban Samurai, meanwhile, were coasting along at one stage with a 12 point lead (61-49) over the Gurgaon Sapphires. They were helped in their cause by thumping – 14-6 and 13-7 - wins to get the tie underway. Sharmada Balu & Ruma Gaikaiwari did stage a comeback by beating Sahja Yamalapalli & Gauri Mangaonkar 15-5 and cut down the gap to just two points (64-66).
But in the decisive matchup featuring Nitin Kumar Sinha & Rushil Khosla vs Rithvik Choudhary & Maan Kesharwani, the Ichiban Samurai pairing won 17-13 to seal the tie in their favour.
Complete Harven Pro Tennis League schedule:
Thursday 7th December 2023
2:00 PM – Centre Court – Delhi DMG Crusaders Vs Lucknow Aviators
2:00 PM – Court 1 – Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas Vs Paramount Proec Tigers
6:00 PM – Centre Court – Mumbai Acers Vs Indraprasth Warriors
6:00 PM – Court 1 – Gurgaon Sapphires Vs Ichiban Samurai
Friday 8th December 2023
2:00 PM – Centre Court – Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas Vs Lucknow Aviators
2:00 PM – Court 1 – Ichiban Samurai Vs Indraprasth Warriors
6:00 PM – Centre Court – Paramount Proec Tigers Vs DMG Delhi Crusaders
6:00 PM – Court 1 – Gurgaon Sapphires Vs Mumbai Acers
Saturday 9th December 2023
2:00 PM – Centre Court – Ichiban Samurai Vs Mumbai Acers
2:00 PM – Court 1 – Lucknow Aviators Vs Paramount Proec Tigers
6:00 PM – Centre Court – Gurgaon Sapphires Vs Indraprasth Warriors
6:00 PM – Court 1 – Delhi DMG Crusaders Vs Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas
Sunday 10 December 2023
12:00 PM - Centre Court - Semi-final 1
03:00 PM - Centre Court - Semi-final
06:00 PM - Centre Court – Final
PTL Season 5 matches can be watched Live on following Youtube link: