Dharmasena wins singles crown for Sri Lanka | Page 2 | Daily News
ITF Future Series Negombo Open Wheelchair Tennis

Dharmasena wins singles crown for Sri Lanka

Champion D S R Dharmasena with national wheelchair tennis coach, Aad Zwan of Netherland celebrating his victory at the Negombo courts.
Champion D S R Dharmasena with national wheelchair tennis coach, Aad Zwan of Netherland celebrating his victory at the Negombo courts.

Emerging Sri Lankan wheelchair tennis star D S R Dharmasena clinched the men’s singles title beating his Korean opponent Sang-Ho OH in the final 6/3, 3/6, 6/1 at the Negombo Open International Wheelchair Tennis Championship concluded in Negombo yesterday.

Dharmasena who is ranked among the world top 100 displayed a superb performance on clay courts during the four-day tournament beating experienced Lankan ace cum present national singles champion Gamini Dissanayaka in the semis 6/2, 6/3 and Korean top seed Ha-Gel Lee in the quarters 6/2, 7/5. According to present ITF wheelchair tennis rankings, Dharmasena is ranked 95 and with this victory he will be able to better his world ranking. The 28-year Sri Lanka Army player in his short tennis career reached the singles world ranking 91 and doubles ranking 41 in June, 2017. At present Dharmasena is ranked world number 47 in doubles rankings.

Dharmasena showed great promise from the beginning of the final, winning the first set comfortably. But Sang-Ho OH bounced back strongly to win the following set. Dharmasena came up with a superb performance in the third set and sealed his victory routing his Korean rival with ease.

Altogether 14 Sri Lankans entered round one of the men’s singles event and only three of them reached the quarterfinal stage.

Korean duo Ha-Gel Lee and Sang-Ho Ho bagged the men’s wheelchair tennis doubles title defeating Malaysian pair Firdaus Ibrahim and Yushazwan Yusuf in straight sets 6/2, 6/0. The women’s singles and doubles events were not conducted.

The tournament is an event of ITF Future Series and players from France, Australia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Israel and Sri Lanka vied for the men’s singles crown.

It has been a great achievement by Dharmasena who has shown great promise in recent times. This tournament has paved a good platform for local players to weigh their skills against some of the top world players and gain much needed international level exposure.

Sri Lanka is hosting three back-to-back ITF wheelchair events, commencing from the Negombo Open. The much anticipated Sri Lanka Open will be held at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association clay courts from February 14 to 17 and will be followed by the SSC Open from February 18 to 21. The ITF Wheelchair World Team Cup qualifications too will be held in Sri Lanka from February 22 to 25.

Sri Lanka has come a long way in the international wheelchair tennis scene, producing some players among world top 100 and the forthcoming four tournaments will provide great experience to local players while allowing them to improve their world rankings. Wheelchair tennis has become a Paralympic medal hope of Sri Lanka and hosting international tournaments will greatly help to mould Lankan players as international stars.


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