Second seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan reserved his best for the last. He played both pleasing and teasing tennis to oust third seed Vijayant Malik 6-2, 5-1 (retired) to emerge winner of the Coimbatore leg of the $10,000 ITF men’s Futures tournament here on Saturday.
The southpaw from Chennai preferred to play to the situation. “I knew he was a good hard court player. So, I had chalked out a gameplan for him. And, it worked for me,” said Jeevan.
Jeevan opened with a flurry of big serves. His idea was to shake his opponent’s confidence early.
But Malik replied smartly as well. However, after some stiff resistance, the latter crumbled a bit under pressure. Jeevan read the situation quickly and mixed up the pace. He either placed the ball deep or forced Malik to rush to the net. And, Malik had no choice but to gift the fourth game to Jeevan.
Malik did get his chance to break back. But Jeevan remained cool under pressure. He sliced and lobbed well to break serve in the sixth to race to a 5-1 lead. Malik bounced back with a vengeance to take the seventh. But before any further damage could be done, Jeevan reeled off a few aces to wrap up the first set 6-2.
In the second set, Jeevan ruled the court and Malik danced to his tune. Jeevan rallied well to break serve in the second and fourth games, and held serve to gain a 5-0 lead. Malik made it 5-1 and went flat out, but twisted his ankle while stretching for a return.
He quite wisely retired from there.