New Delhi, Sept 30 (PTI) Eager to complete some unfinished business, Arjun Kadhe has returned to the Fenesta National tennis championship and will start as firm favourite for the men’s singles title when the tournament begins at DLTA here from Monday. Also Read - Keep Telling Leander Paes, he Can Continue For One More Year: Vece Paes
The 24-year-old has competed for the national title a number of times and reached the final in 2012 and 2013 but lost to Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Mohit Mayur Prakash, respectively. Also Read - Easy Draw For India in Davis Cup World Group, Will Square Off Against Finland
The Pune player returned to the Pro circuit only last year after completing a degree course from Oklahoma University and has gradually left behind players who competed with him at the 2017 Fenesta Open. Also Read - Delhi Police Arrests PFI Member for Spreading ‘False Propaganda’ During Anti-CAA Protests
Kadhe had lost in the quarterfinals last year when Dalwinder Singh grabbed the men’s singles crown.
He recently travelled with the Indian Davis Cup as a reserve member of the side which lost 0-4 to Serbia.
“I have not won it yet. I want to win it at least once, so I am here,” Kadhe told PTI explaining his reason for competing this year.
And there is more to it as Kadhe is looking for a job to manage his finance as he has already started slogging on the demanding Pro Tour.
“Being the national champion is important. My and my coach (Hemant Bendre) both felt that I must do it. Also, I don’t have a job. If I do well here it adds to my resume,” Kadhe, who won on ITF Futures and ended runner up in three others this year, said candidly.
Challenging Kadhe would be Manish Sureshkumar, 2014 finalist Sidharth Rawat, left-handed Sidharth Vishwakarma, who ended runner-up in 2016, the talented Nitin Kumar Sinha and Mohit Mayur.
Going by form, Kadhe would be favourite in this field but he says it would only add to the pressure of expectations.
“It makes even tougher me here. From round one, I will be the target. When I played against Yuki and Saketh at Nationals, I had nothing to lose. Now it’s the opposite situation for me.” Kadhe said the tournament will also give him an opportunity to experiment a bit with his game like adding serve and volley to his repertoire and playing aggressively.
In the women’s singles, it is again expected to be battle between diminutive defending champion Mahak Jain and Zeel Desai.
Multiple times champion Prerna Bhambri is again in the field along with Mihika Yadav, Natasha Palha, Shweta Rana, Nidhi Chilumula and Sowjanya Bavisetti.
Among juniors, Sidhant Banthia and Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy, who shone during the Road to Wimbledon and the Rendezvous events will fight it out for the title along with talented Megh Bhargav Patel, Mann Maulik Shah and Ajay Malik, the 2016 U-14 national winner.
Salsa, Aher, Kaavya Sawhney, Prinkle Singh, Bhakti Parwani, Sarah Dev, Prerna Vichare and Sanya Singh will vie for honour in the girls event.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.