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Indian sports wrap, May 10: Gaurav Natekar, SETVI launch World Pickleball League


Double Asian Games gold medalist Gaurav Natekar and SETVI together launch World Pickleball League

India’s growing reputation as a potential racquet sports hub is all set to get a massive boost with the launch of the World Pickleball League (WPBL), the first-ever professional pickleball league, envisaged by Natekar Sports and Gaming (NSG) of former Davis Cup star and Arjuna Awardee Gaurav Natekar and Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India (SETVI).

The inaugural edition of the league will witness six franchises compete for the title. Each team will have five to eight players including international stars. The league will also mandate the teams to have Indian players and junior players who will form a part of the team to rub shoulders and learn from the best players in the world.

Currently played in over 80 countries, pickleball is extremely popular in the Asia Pacific region and has been growing steadfastly in India in the last few years with over 30,000 amateur players and 8000 registered players across 18 states already playing the sport. The sport requires less space than Tennis and can be played by anyone from the age of seven to 70, making it one of the most popular recreational as well as competitive sports in many parts of the world. 


Goswami Ganesh Dutt tournament

A sparkling 135 with 17 fours and four 6s by Madhur Yadav powered Mount Club to a seven-wicket victory over Delhi Wanderers in a pre-quarterfinal match of the 49th all-India Goswami Ganesh Dutt cricket tournament at the Khalsa College ground on Friday.

Madhur’s 82-ball knock helped Mount Club reach the target of 189 with 13.5 overs to spare.

The Kimati Player of The Match award was presented to Madhur.

In the quarterfinals, Mount CC will play Sporting CC on May 14.

In the first quarterfinal on Saturday, SRK Technology XI will play Delhi Challengers.

The Score:

Delhi Wanderers 188 in 39.2 overs (Suraj 44, Eash Paliwal 28, Bhuwan Rohilla 3/45) lost to Mount CC 189/3 in 26.1 overs (Madhur Yadav 135, Yugal Saini 27)

-Kamesh Srinivasan


AITA ranking tournament

Sejal Bhutada beat Saumrita Verma 7-5, 6-4 in the women’s semifinals of the Rs.200,000 AITA ranking tennis tournament at the Ace Academy on Friday.

In the final, Sejal will play Vidhi Jani who fought past Divya Sharma in three sets.

Sejal won the doubles title in partnership with Sahira Singh, beating Bharatiyana Reddy and Saumrita Verma in straight sets.

In the men’s section, Adil Kalyanpur also put himself in line for a double crown. Adil beat third seed Moksh Puri for the loss of two games in the semifinals and won the doubles title in partnership with Maanav Jain.

Second seed Dmitrii Baskov beat fourth seed Ricky Chaudhary in three sets to set up a title clash against sixth seed Adil.

The results:

Men (semifinals): Adil Kalyanpur bt Moksh Puri 6-1, 6-1; Dmitrii Baskov bt Ricky Chaudhary 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Doubles (final): Maanav Jain & Adil Kalyanpur bt Tanik Gupta & Utkarsh Tiwari 6-1, 6-4.

Women (semifinals): Sejal Bhutada bt Saumrita Verma 7-5, 6-4; Vidhi Jani bt Divya Sharma 6-1, 0-6, 6-0.

Doubles (final): Sejal Bhutada & Sahira Singh bt Bharathiyana Reddy & Saumrita Verma 6-4, 7-5.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

AITA National Series Juniors

Third seed Uttam Karthik knocked out top seed Himanish Brinda 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the under-16 boys semifinals of the AITA National series junior tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Friday.

In the final, Uttam will play Kushagra Arora who bounced back from a slow start to beat Mohd. Shees in three sets.

The results:

Under-16 boys (semifinals): Uttam Karthik bt HImanish Brinda 6-3, 5-7, 6-2; Kushagra Arora bt Mohd. Shees 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Doubles (final): Himanish Brinda & Rudra Batham bt Sangram Bhadury & Gaurish Madaan 6-3, 6-1.

Under-16 girls (semifinals): Anandita Upadhyay bt Dhatri Dave 5-0 (conceded); Swasti Singh bt Aaradhya Meena 3-6, 5-2 (conceded).

Doubles (final): Anandita Upadhyay & Jasmine Kaur bt Vibha Khadka & Avika Yadav 6-2, 6-0.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

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