Banthia, Mathere clinch u-16 titles

Pune duo Siddanth Banthia and Ishwari Mathere lifted the boys and girls title in the third edition of the Vishrambaug Mandal Trophy All-India Under-16 Junior National Talent Series Tennis tournament. The tournament was organised by the Pune Metropolitan District Tennis Association along with Vishrambaug Tarun Mandal at the MSLTA School of Tennis in Balewadi.

Banthia, a student of the Bishop's School who practises at Deccan Gymkhana, defeated Mihir Damle in straight sets. The 6-1, 6-2 scoreline showed Banthia's dominance as Damle had no answer to his opponent's powerful serve and accurate ground-strokes. Banthia is currently ranked as number one and two in Maharashtra and India, respectively. He also won the Asian Championship held at Ahmedabad last week.

In the girls' category, Mathere, a student of GG International School who practises at the Fergusson College courts under Amod Wakalkar, scored a hard-fought 6-1, 7-6(2) win over Jitasha Shastri of Nashik to claim the title. Mathere began brightly, taking the first set 6-1, hardly being troubled by her Nashik-based opponent. Shastri though roared back in the second set, stretching it to the tie-breaker. Mathere held her nerve and executed a couple of storming volleys to pocket the set and the championship.

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