Victor Crivoi of Romania, the top seed, didn’t expect Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan to compete with him on level terms. But to his surprise, the Indian matched Crivoi in all aspects and came up with delectable winners from the back-court and at the net. He was also well supported by the home crowd.
Crivoi, a top 100 world-ranked player not too long ago, made it count when it mattered to script a 7-6(3), 7-5 victory to clinch the singles title in the MCC-S.R. Subramaniam Memorial ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament here on Saturday.
If Jeevan’s win over a hard-hitting Tak Khunn Wang of France in the semifinals was a revelation, his display against the Romanian was nothing short of stunning. Jeevan did not lose serve even once in the first set.
Value of experience
In the tie-breaker, Crivoi proved the value of experience as he closed out the first set comfortably. From the first game of the second set, Jeevan made his intentions clear. Starting with a wonderful forehand passing shot on-the-run, he was spot-on as he broke Crivoi in the first and then in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Crivoi, however, broke back in the eighth game to make it 4-4.
Trailing 5-6, Jeevan saved two match points in the 12th game at 15-40; the first with a nice serve and volley and the second with a forehand crosscourt winner. Crivoi had the last laugh finishing the contest on his sixth match point when the Indian hit a forehand long.
“I thought it would be an easy match, but he (Jeevan) played really well. In the tie-breaker, I won because of my experience. He’s by far the best Indian I played in the tournament,” said Crivoi.
Victor took home Rs. 75,000 and 18 ATP points while Jeevan had to be content with Rs. 46,008 and 10 ATP points. Former Davis Cupper Rabi Venkatesan gave away the prizes.
The results (final): Victor Crivoi (Rou) bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (Ind) 7-6(3), 7-5.