Mumbai, Dec 17 (Tennis News) Hyderabad Strikers sealed their place in the semi-finals of the Tennis Premier League (TPL) when they defeated Pune Jaguars 45-35 in their final league match here on Friday.
Tied in joint second place with 130 points after three matches, both teams were looking to win big and it was the Hyderabad outfit with their overall strength that finally prevailed.
Hyderabad tallied 175 points and are sitting pretty at the top, followed by Mumbai Leon Army with 167, with Pune Jaguars and Chennai Stallions tied in third place with 165 each.
With two more matches yet to be played, Gujarat Panthers, on 122 points and Bengaluru, on 118, also have an outside chance of making the grade.
In the first match of the day, Chennai Stallions seemed to have reserved their best for the last.
Lying in fifth position in the points table after three matches, they needed a big win to stay in contention for a semi-final slot and that's what they did, defeating the unbeaten Mumbai Leon Army 44-36.
Samantha Sharan gave Chennai a great start when she handed a 12-8 defeat to Sowjanya Bavisetti.
Samantha raced to a 6-1 lead before two unforced errors helped Sowjanya claw her way to 6-4 at the change of sides. Samantha, however, kept attacking the flanks and maintained her lead to win the tie 12-8.
Siddharth Rawat then got into the act, scoring a convincing 13-7 victory over Ramkumar Ramanathan.
When Purav Raja and Samantha got together to outplay Niki Poonacha and Sowjanya 13-7, it seemed curtains for Mumbai. However, Ramkumar and Niki combined brilliantly in the men's doubles to win 1-6 over Raja and Rawat and ensure that though they lost the match, they held a slender 2 point lead over Chennai after their league engagements.
In the late matches on Thursday, Bengaluru Spartans kept their hopes alive with a narrow 41-39 win over Pune Jaguars, while Chennai Stallions got the better of Hyderabad Strikers by the same margin.
News Source : PTI