Tennis Premier League: Valeryla, Vijay Sundar excel for Gujarat Panthers
Vijay Sundar Prashant beat former world top 100 player Yuki Bhambri and then combined with doubles specialist Divij Sharan to help Gujarat Panthers to beat Delhi Binny's Brigade 44-36
Vijay Sundar Prashant beat former world top 100 player Yuki Bhambri and then combined with doubles specialist Divij Sharan to help Gujarat Panthers to beat Delhi Binny's Brigade 44-36 in the Tennis Premier League on Thursday. Playing the last match late on Wednesday, Gujarat had opened their account with a 43-37 win over Chennai Stallions.
It was the Ukranian Valeryla Strakhova, who got the Gujarat team pumped up, when she recovered from trailing 3-9 against her Thai opponent Peangtarn Plipuech to tie the first women's singles at 10-10. Her performance seemed to have inspired Vijay Sundar, who rarely made a mistake against Bhambri while racing to a 13-7 victory.
Manish Sureshkumar and Peangtarn raised Delhi's hopes of a fightback when they won the mixed doubles against Dhivij Sharan and Valeryla 12-8, to cut Gujarat's lead to just 2 points. But Sharan and Vijay Sundar, both doubles specialists were too strong for Bhambri and Manish, winning the final rubber 13-7 for a comfortable victory in the end.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Tigers slumped to their third defeat from as many games, losing 34-46 to Mumbai Leon Army despite Prajnesh Gunneswaran's strong singles show to defeat fellow Davis Cupper Ramkumar Ramanathan 13-7, giving his team a four point lead with two matches to be played.
However, the mixed doubles pair of Aryan Goveas and Diana Marcinkevica caved in tamely against Sowjanya and Niki Poonacha, losing 5-15, a deficit too big for Aryan and Prajnesh to cover up in the final men's doubles encounter. In the other late match on Wednesday, Mumbai Leon Army beat Delhi Binny's Brigade 44-36.