House Colombo regains the Tennis Throne

It was happened, finally.

After a lengthy delay of weeks due to weather, reservation problems and many issues, Gymkhana Queens Tennis Club finally came alive on 23rd July to host the semifinals and finals of Inter University Men’s Tennis. The remaining quartet of Colombo, USJP, Peradeniya and Moratuwa were prepared and ready to battle. The spectators, who flocked around the courts, were given a treat for their eyes throughout the event. At the end of fiercely competed day, University of Colombo was the last team standing.

In a rematch of last year’s final, University of Colombo and University of Moratuwa were first on the cards. Seasoned campaigner Supun Sanjaya from Mortuwa took the court against young Senith Abeyanayke from Colombo for the very first game of the day. Ironically, the two are set to play for Sri Lanka, later this year at the Summer Universiade in Taipei. Supun’s experience paid off as he saw off Senith easily. (6/4, 7/5) Showing their grit, Colombo roared back with three consecutive victories to win the battle and booked the first berth in the finals. Moratuwa captain Prasanna Punchihewa was unsuccessful in stopping the fast serving Davis cup player and Colombo’s trump card, Yasitha de Silva. (1/6, 1/6)

Peradeniya squared off with USJP in the second semifinal. After a rare, 5 game nerve racking roller coaster, Japura boys tamed the hill country beast. Dilshan Athuraliya won the first singles match for Peradeniya. (7/5, 6/2) Indika Wettasinghe nullified the advantage with a win for USJP in the 2nd singles. (6/0, 6/1). P.A. Abeykoon won the 3rd match and again turned the game in Peradeniya’s favour. (6/1, 6/0). The penultimate battle, possibly the most exciting match of the day, was played between Indika Wettasinghe/ Kalhara Perera vs Dilshan Athuraliya/M.U.B. Jayathilake. Indika Wettasinghe, the veteran who is getting ready for Summer Universiade, took the task into his hands and guided himself and his partner to a tense 3 set finish over their Peradeniya counterparts. (5/7, 6/4, 7/5) The deciding doubles match was little less exciting as Hisni Hunais and Mahela Munasinghe easily dispatched their opponents and confirmed USJP’s spot in the finals. (6/2, 6/2)

The defeated teams didn’t have to lose all hope. They were given another opportunity to salvage some pride at the Bronze medal match. Moratuwa had a walk in the park as they won three singles matches and defeated Peradeniya without dropping a set.

Finals started with an easy win for M. Adhas from Colombo over Dilshan Priyadarshana of USJP. (6/1, 6/1) The second game ended with disappointment as Yasitha De Silva, who was schooling his opponent Indika Wettasinghe with a 6/4 and 3/1 lead in the second set, had to retire with an injury. The match was awarded to USJP. Senith Abeynayake defeated Hisni Hunais to bring back the advantage to Colombo but it was immediately taken away as Yasitha was still not ready to play his doubles game. USJP, riding on a tall wave of luck, only had to win one game to probably register the biggest upset in University Tennis history. But Senith and Susanth were more than ready for the task. They closed and locked the window of opportunity for USJP as they took the final doubles match with ease and brought Colombo a well deserving Gold. (6/2, 6/2)

Article by : Archanath Dickwella
Edited by : Kasuni Harshika
Sponsored by: Millennium IT

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