The top four seeds made it to the singles semifinals of the MCC-S.R. Subramaniam Memorial ITF Futures tennis championship here on Thursday. Sanam Singh will take on Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan while Sriram Balaji will meet top-seeded Spaniard Enrique Lopez-Perez.
In the quarterfinals, Balaji and Lopez-Perez had to overcome second set blips against R. Ramkumar and V.M. Ranjeet respectively while Jeevan and Sanam comfortably beat Andre Gaspar Murta and Vijayant Malik.
Sanam must have expected much more of a challenge than a 6-4, 6-4 scoreline.
Malik, who puts a premium on keeping the ball in and moving his opponents around rather than going for extravagant shots, proved not much of a match. He was hurried into his shots and denied the time to look for angles and place the ball. On his part, Sanam’s backhand winners were particularly impressive.
The Ramkumar-Balaji match was erratic at best. There were five breaks of serve in the first set, with Balaji edging it 6-4. A solitary break in the second game was enough as Ramkumar, playing much better, took the second set 6-3.
While he would have hoped to carry the momentum into the third, in a complete reversal of fortunes, he found himself 0-5 down.
A contentious line call in the fourth game didn’t help matters as Ramkumar, already bogged down by a low first serve percentage, committed a slew of unforced errors.
While Balaji too tightened a bit before serving it out, he showed much more composure than his 19-year-old opponent.
The doubles final on Friday will be an all-Indian affair, with Jeevan and Vishnu Vardhan taking on Balaji and Ranjeet.
Singles: Quarterfinals: Sriram Balaji bt R. Ramkumar 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Enrique Lopez-Perez bt V.M. Ranjeet 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-4; Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Andre Gaspar Murta 6-3, 6-4; Sanam Singh bt Vijayant Malik 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles: Semifinals: Jeevan & Vishnu Vardhan bt R. Arun Prakash & Ramkumar 6-4, 3-6, 10-6; Sriram Balaji & Ranjeet bt Jannis Liniger (Sui) & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 7-5.