Arjun won the Under-12 National Ranking Tournament conducted at Mahila Seva Samaj School in Bangalore.
The tournament opened with lots of expectations since we had the top 3 seeds from TAMS, few experienced fellas and a bunch of first timers.. We did great on the opening day with 10 winning out of 12 who went from here but the day didnt wear off without disappointment. Rishikesh exited the tournament playing against an in-form Nitin Vegesna(who made it to the quarters himself), that was indeed not planned..
3 out of the 4 quarter-finals had Tams Boys in them which was great but we were hoping for more…. We wanted 3 out of 4 semifinalists. Greed agreed but we are what we are and we have been there – done that and it was well within reach.. Top seed Arjun had the toughest of the 4 quarters, he had Karthikeyan Ravi to whom he had lost to in their previous meeting (in a semifinals few months back). Arjun opened brilliantly to wrap up the first set with just 4 unforced errors. The second set saw the whole match turned upside down with Karthik leading 3-1, Arjun showed great nerves and fighting ability to bounce back and win the 2nd set and match with relative ease..
Playing alongside was Madhavan Manoj, the first 2 sets was a see-saw with Madhavan losing the first set and blanking Rajesh Kannan in the 2nd which then went into a super tie breaker(race to 10 points with a difference of 2 points). Madhavan’s big groundstrokes let him down with a few close calls going against him and hence the match..
Next Quarters had Sandesh and the 2nd seed from Tams playing against Manish G they share a 1 all win-loss record with each other. Sandesh had been working hard on his attacking game, moving away from his seasoned defensive game which the world he runs under associates him with… Sandesh and Manish traded blows & the sets as well and it again boiled down to the Super tie breaker. 4 lets went against Sandesh in what would have been a close win going his way but that cost him his momentum, confidence, set and the match. It was indeed an upsetting day for us at TAMS with 2 of our 3 top seeds exiting at the stage.. Dreams broken but not our spirit, we awaited the final day to start with the semi-finals..
Arjun had to play Rajesh Kannan(the one who beat Madhavan) in the semis, Arjun continued his fine form from the previous day to vanquish Rajesh 0 & 1..
Arjun had to play Manish G (the one who beat Sandesh) in the Finals after a 2 hr break the same day.. The weather was tricky with bright, hot sun and couple of spells of rain in between.. The match started with scorching heat from the clear skies and the temperature soared from the 22 odd degrees to 35 degrees in a matter of few minutes.. Match opened with both the guys trading games till 2 all. Arjun was ill at ease but he somehow pulled through and won the next game to make it 3-2 in the first set..
Then there was a situation with Arjun declaring that he was dizzy and disoriented.. He was given a medical time out which did a wee bit of wonder, giving him enough time to recover from the heat. Once out of the woods, he was like the sun in the clear skies.. There was no turning back till he wrapped up the first set 6-2.
The 2nd set saw a spirited fight back from Manish at the start of the set but Arjun was quick to close all doors on his opponent to run away with the set and match at 6-1. Thus winning his second crown for the fortnight..And thus avenging his mates(Sandesh & Madhavan) loss at the hands of Rajesh & Manish according to Arjun…
Arjun receiving his Award and Arjun with Manish G the runner-up