Fourth-seeded N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth had to strain every sinew to overcome a fighting Kaza Vinayak Sharma 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4 in a men’s first round match of the $10,000 LMW-ITF Futures tennis tournament, at Perks Tennis Centre, here on Tuesday.
It took more than three hours for the Chennai star to bring his opponent down. The 25-year-old, who had gained rich experience at the Philipsburg Club in Germany recently, played a pretty sharp first set.
He pinned his opponent back and fired in winners time and again to take the set 6-1.
Prashanth continued with his good work in the second set as well. But Vinayak had other ideas.
He switched gears quickly and went into attack mode. And, that pushed Prashanth on the backfoot. Vinayak cashed in on the chance and played close to the line to take the match to the decider.
Nerves of steel
In the third, Prashanth gained an early break.
But his opponent was not ready to give up. He went all out to convert the chances that came his way. At this juncture, Prashanth showed nerves of steel to clinch the set and match 6-4.
“I have played him on a couple of occasions before, but this one turned out to be the most difficult,” admitted an exhausted Prashanth after the match.
“I did not attack when I had to. I played defensive in the second set and put the pressure on myself,” he added.
Top-seeded V.M. Ranjeet, however, did not sweat much while defeating Shantanu Rajput 6-1, 6-2.
The Coimbatore-born player did not play to his full potential, yet tackled the little challenges thrown at him, with ease.
The host had something to cheer about with Vigneshwaran Ramesh pulling off a surprise 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win over Saurabh Singh.
The results (first round, Indians unless stated):
N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Kaza Vinayak Sharma 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4; Karunday Singh bt Sidharth Rawat 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 7-5; V.M. Ranjeet bt Shantanu Rajput 6-1, 6-2; Ajai Selvaraj bt Rishabdev Raman 6-2, 6-2; Tejas Chaukulkar bt Rajat Maheshwari 7-6(4), 7-6(5).
Zach Itzstein (Aus) bt Aaditya Tiwari 6-4, 6-3; Vigneshwaran Ramesh bt Saurabh Singh 5-7, 6-4, 7-5; Abhijeet Tiwari bt Garvit Batra 6-2, 6-2; Vivek Shokeen bt Austin Karosi 7-6(6), 6-3; Hyun-Woo Nam (Kor) bt Lakshit Sood 6-1, 6-4.
Keywords: LMW-ITF Futures tennis tournament