Golden double for Ramkumar

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan outplayed compatriot Saketh Myneni 7-5, 6-2 in the men’s singles final of the South Asian Games here on Thursday.

The singles gold also ensured a double for Ramkumar, who won the doubles title partnering Vijay Sundar Prashanth on Wednesday.

Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Sharmadaa & Prarthana win
With top-seeded Sharmadaa Baluu and Prarthana Thombare combining well to outlast second-seeded Rishika Sunkara and Natasha Palha in the women’s doubles, India completed the sweep of golds and silvers.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka were made to fight for the bronze in all these events.

The men’s singles final was expected to be a keen contest as both players had made a good start to the season.

Beating higher-ranked players, Ramkumar had reached the quarterfinals of the ATP Chennai Open, while Myneni had made it to the semifinals of the $75,000 ATP Challenger in Australia.

“My forehand came good today and that eventually got the match for me against a very good player like Saketh,” said Ramkumar, currently ranked 215 in the world.

“This gold gives me a good start for the season as I will now try to break within 200 of the world rankings and keep going further,” he added.

The first set went with serve until Ramkumar broke serve in the ninth game to make it 5-4. Myneni broke back in the next game to make it 5-5.

But, Ramkumar was in no mood to give up, and immediately broke back to regain the advantage and held serve to take the set 7-5.

Myneni enjoyed some advantage in the second set, breaking serve in the second game to take a 2-0 lead.

But Ramkumar won the next six games to clinch the set and match.

The results: Men’s singles: Final: Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Saketh Myneni 7-5, 6-2.

Women’s doubles: Final: Sharmadaa Baluu & Prarthana Thombare bt Rishika Sunkara & Natasha Palha 7-5, 2-6, [10-4].