Delhi University reached the finals of the All-India Inter University Men's Tennis Tournament after a nine-and-a-half hour battle with Jain University here on Sunday.
The decision came only after all the five matches and all the three sets in the second reverse singles were played. Delhi play Gujarat in the final on Monday at the Manipal University Sports Complex, Marena. Gujarat beat Osmania University 3-0.
It was Siddharth Rawat who carried the day for Delhi. He emerged the hero of the 3-2 win. Jain University depended on Vinod Gowda for a place in the final. He gave them a good start in the morning with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Rubal Shandilya, but went down fighting Siddharth under floodlights in a nail-biting encounter. Siddharth put Delhi on par with Jain by beating Kiran Nandakumar. The pair of Vinod and Sagar beat Siddharth and Suraj 6-3, 6-2 to give Jain 2-1 lead once again. In the first reverse singles Rubal put Delhi level once again when he beat Sagar in three games at 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Then it was the Battle Royale between Siddharth and Vinod.
The never-say-die Delhi lad played with true grit and determination. While playing the second singles against Kiran he had dropped the first set 6-7 (7), but came back into the game strongly and won the next two games giving away only one point to Kiran in the two games.
In the final encounter too, Siddharth was down a set when he rallied strongly to win the next two. He raced off to a 3-0 lead in the second set and won it 6-1. The final set was brilliantly fought.
He managed to break Vinod in the eighth game to draw level 4-4 and that was the end as he won the next two games.
Gujarat Beat Osmania University 3-0; Pradeep Gowda bt Sameep Maheta 6-1, 4-6, 6-0; Vaidik Munshaw bt Pradeep Deswal 6-2, 6-0; Vaidik Munshaw bt Taran/Ajith 6-1, 6-1.
Delhi University beat Jain University 3-2: Vinod Gowda bt Rubal Shandilya 6-1, 6-2; Siddharth Rawat bt Kiran Nandakumar 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-0 and Sagar/Vinod bt Siddharth/Suraj 6-3, 6-2; Rubal Shandilya bt Sagar M 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; and Siddharth beat Vinod 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.