August 4, 2015 by Pickleball Times
Maharashtra, for second time, bagged the championship trophy of 3rd National Pickleball tournament, which was held at Shivaji Stadium in historic city of Panipat. Defending champion Maharashtra team earned 120 points, while team Mumbai emerged as runner up in the tournament which was participated by teams from 10 states.
All India Pickleball Association, with help of Hariyana Pickleball Association, has arranged this national event between June 26 and June 28, 2015. Indian Oil was main sponsor. Maharashtra, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Hariyana, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Dadara Nagar Haveli and Delhi were participating states.
The tournament began with knockout rounds. During initial two-days, some players received bye, while others had to sweat it out for attending victories to make it quarter-final and semi-final. Some of the clashes during tournament were interesting and brought audience on edge of their seats. All eyes were on final, which turned out to be interesting battle on third day of event.
Rutuja Kalike & Esha H (Maharashtra) and Ankita Balekar & Sonawali Jadhav fought for gold medal in women doubles category. Both pairs played their best game but finally Maharashtra’s women won the title with difference of 12-10 and 12-10.
In final of Mixed Double category, Mahesh Pardeshi & Garima Javahar from Maharashtra defeated Karan Shekhawat & Kavita Shekhawat from Rajasthan. The scores were 11-0 and 11-4.
Audience had lot of curiosity about finals in Men doubles category. Defending champions Bharatraj Sharma & Mukhtyar Ali from Rajasthan and Manish Rao & Sachin Mandrekar from Mumbai, were facing each other in run for title. Both pairs were experienced players. Manish & Sachin bagged first set and Bharatraj & Mukhtyar won second set. Manish & Sachin showed their command in first set, but Bharatraj & Mukhtyar managed to improve their game in second set. Players were under pressure in third set, which was decider Both pairs exhibited best of their skills; however Bharatraj & Mukhtyar were through to secure title.
Last year’s winner of women single, Shubhi Vyas (MP) retained her title. She beat Jagruti Jaware (Maharashtra). Aditi Jagtap (Maharashtra) stood at third place by registering victory over Ekata Sakpal (Mumbai).
Final of men single too witnessed tough fights. Maharashtra’s Atharva C and Dadara Nagar Haveli’s Krushna were in front of each other for championship. Both young players tried score over each other by hitting ball speedily and aggressively in opponent’s court. Atharva and Krushan won one set each. In third decider set Atharva managed to improve his game and won gold. Ashish Mahajan (Mumbai) got winning points to settle for third place against Ajay Rawat (MP).
Winning team and players were felicitated by Mayor of Panipat Suresh Varma. General Secretary of AIPA Sunil Valavalkar, President of Haryana Pickleball Association Vijendar Puniya, Chief Pattern of Haryana Pickleball Association Bijendar Phor, Vice President Dipak Khuttar, Joint Secretary Deependar Singh, President of Panipat District Pickleball Association Kapil Rathi, Rajindar Deswal are presented.
Three day national championship was visited by Joint Treasurer of AIPA Sameer Dixit, President of National Governing Council Sushant Joshi, Doordarshn’s Ganesh Ayyar, Fifth Quarter Info Media Pvt.’s Nitin Sethi.
Karan Sing Shekhawat(Rajasthan), Devanand Pandey(Jharkhand), Ranjan Gupta(Bihar), Dharmesh Yashlaha(Madhya Pradesh), Mr. Nikam(Maharashtra) and Rajesh Waghmare (Navi Mumbai) were participated.
Team AIPA, Krushna Gupta, Krushna Kesarkar, Jayesh Suryaji and Amey Kulkarni were referee for matches. Chetan Kate, Rahul Wani, Rupali More, Nilita Bhuwad, Pranay Kinjale, Yogesh Gurakhem and Swapnali Agre were involved in different arrangements for the tournament.