Tennis: Dev, Mahak win singles; Maharashtra win both doubles at KIYG

Dev Javia of Gujarat powered past Aryaan Bhatia of Maharashtra 7-5, 6-3 to win the boys U-17 singles gold medal in a riveting final here at Khelo India Youth Games on Friday, while top seed Mahak Jain of Madhya Pradesh outplayed Maharashtra’s Mihika Yadav 6-4, 6-1 in the Under-21 girls singles final. 
While Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh shared the spoils in singles, Maharashtra won the gold in both the doubles matches contested on Friday. The host state’s Armaan Bhatia and Dhruv Sunish won the Boys-Under 21 doubles beating Ishaque Eqbal and Nitin Sinha of West Bengal. The win gave Dhruv a chance to do a double as he plays the U-21 singles final on Saturday.
Similarly, Maharashtra’s Prerna Vichare will have a chance for a golden double after winning the U-17 doubles final, teaming with Gargi Pawar. They beat another Maharashtra pair, Sai Bhoyar and Hrudaya Shah.
In the Boys Under-17 final, Mumbai's Bhatia arrived on Centre Court with the favourite’s tag after he beat top seed Sushant Dabas in the semis but the unseeded Javia, a former U-12 and U-14 India No.1, had other plans. 
The first set was a roller coaster ride. Bhatia was sluggish at the start and was broken to hand Javia a 3-1 lead. The gutsy Bhatia stuck to his baseline game and broke Javia's serve twice to win the next four games in a row to lead 5-3.
Bhatia was serving for the set but couldn't handle the pressure in front of his home crowd and committed several unforced errors to lose the next four games to hand Javia the first set 7-5 in 47 minutes. 
A frustrated Bhatia lost momentum and trailed 2-5 in the second set before the left-handed Javia closed out the match with a beautiful backhand in 36 minutes to emerge as the Games first tennis gold medallist.
After the victory, Javia an 11th standard student of Urmi, Baroda, said, “Unlike Bhatia who was the crowd favourite, I didn't have any pressure before the final. I've upset top seeds en route to the final, so was confident of a positive result today.
“I've played Bhatia six years back which really didn't matter here and my strategy was to take the match like any other one. Although I was trailing in the first set, I just stayed focused on every point which worked well.
"I've who won titles in Indore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2016 campaign. But the KIYG is a really big platform and winning gold for the state is a proud moment. I would like to thank my coach Shrimal Bhatt of the Elteval Academy of Ahmedabad who played a huge part in my success here," Javia added.
In the girl's U-21 final, top seed and two-time national champion Mahak Jain of Madhya Pradesh produced a dominant performance to beat local girl Mihika Yadav 6-4, 6-1.
Mahak was troubled in the initial stage of the first set as Mihika broke her twice to lead 3-0, but used all her experience to win the next six of seven games for the first set.
Mahak outplayed her opponent in the second set in less than 30 minutes and said, "I didn't start well but then I found my rhythm. I've played Mihika before and she has defeated me a couple of times but I was confident today. Winning the gold is a big thing as KIYG is really prestigious."
Two doubles gold for Maharashtra
In the boy's U-21 doubles gold medal match, Maharashtra’s Armaan Bhatia and Dhruv Sunish defeated Ishaque Eqbal and Nitin Sinha of West Bengal 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 (super tiebreak) in a thrilling encounter. 
In an all-Maharashtra girls' U-17 doubles final, Prerna Vichare and Gargi Pawar got past Sai Bhoyar and Hrudaya Shah 6-1, 6-1
Four finals slated for Saturday
On the final day of tennis, four gold medals will be decided with Maharashtra featuring in two singles finals, as Prerna Vichare takes on Priyanshi Bhandari of Gujarat in Girls U-17 finals while local lad Dhruv Suyansh will take on S Manish of Tamil Nadu in Boys U-21 singles final.
Gujarat's Zeel Desai and Vaidehi Chaudhary will face the challenge of a Telangana duo of Rashmika Bhamidipaty and Humera Shaik in Girls U-21 doubles final and the last final will be in Boys U-17 doubles between the Haryana duo of Sushant Debs and Dives Gahlot and Krish Patel and Dev Javia of Gujarat.

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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