Easy win for Davis Cup star in Games fight

The promise remained just that a assure! The men's tennis final at the 34th National Games didn't become the competition it was supposed to be, Karan Rastogi getting past Tamil Nadu's Mithun Murali with unexpected ease even as the women's title-clash produced a shock if you weren't next Ratnika Batra over the past couple of days. The Delhi girl, who had accounted for second seed C Nidhi of Andhra Pradesh in the quarter-final and No. 3 Prerna Bhambri in the semi-final, swept past top seed Zainab Ali Sajjad 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to clinch gold.

In table tennis, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra lifted the team titles, Sharath Kamal powering the former to tight victories in the semi-final and the title fight while Maharashtra shocked Bengal 3-1 in the women's final. The Maharashtra men controlled Gujarat 3-1 for gold. With Poulami Ghatak missing from their ranks, Bengal depended a great deal on Mouma Das but the two-time national singles champion lost both her matches. In difference, Maharashtra's Madhurika Patkar won both her matches, against Nandita Saha and Mouma and Mamta Prabhu chipped in by defeating Mouma. Ankita Das won the only match for Bengal when she controlled Pooja Sahasrabudhe.

The men's semi-final between defending champions Bengal and Tamil Nadu made for an absorbing tussle, Sharath Kamal winning his two matches to take TN to the decider, where Bengal's Sourav Saha didn't have the endurance or the game to begin the persistent returns of R. Abishek, who must be the only defensive player in the country's table tennis Rastogi, who will be flying out on Sunday to join his Davis Cup teammates in Serbia, won 6-3, 6-2, Murali never quite getting into the match to put the Maharashtra player under pressure.


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