Thapa meets Rana in final

Kathmandu, August 4:

In a grueling test of stamina for the veterans, Kamal Thapa and Manoj Rana outslugged their opponents to enter the above-45 section final at the Nepal Open Senior Veterans’ Tennis Tournament here today. Under muggy, overcast conditions, Kamal Thapa displayed cooler nerves and greater staying power to beat Subarna Dhakwa 6-3, 6-3 in just over 42 minutes.

Although, the score-line might look rather lop-sided, Dhakwa gave what he received for most of the match. Thapa had to dig deep and bring his experience of a professional athlete to the fore to beat Dhakwa, finally. In the other semi-final match, Manoj Rana came back from a rather disastrous first set 1-6 loss to first tie Deepak Shrestha at 6-1. He then went on to beat Shrestha 10-4 in a super tie-breaker, a match decider for the above-45 category only, where once two sets are all, whoever reaches 10 points first is declared the winner. Although,

the second game of the day never quite reached the intensity of the earlier game between Thapa and Dhakwa in terms of quality of play, it showcased Rana’s fitness that was crucial in allowing him to beat Shrestha in the second set and then the tie breaker. His first set loss looked to be a case of overconfidence gone awry. In Firday’s above-35 section final, Krishna Ghale will take on Chandra Shahi, winners over Binod Kyastha and Rajesh Chhetri respectively. And the above 45 final will be a rematch of the Veterans’ Singles (above 45) final of the recently concluded King’s Birthday Cup Open Tennis Tournament. The event has been organised by Kathmandu Sports Club to mark the 59th birthday of King Gyanendra.