Second seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan powered his way to a 6-3, 6-3 win over fifth seed Karunuday Singh in the singles semifinals of the $10,000 LMW-ITF Futures tournament at the Perks Tennis Centre here on Friday.
For a brief period, Karunuday called the shots. Thereafter, it was a one-horse race with Jeevan demolishing his opponent with some lovely volleys and forehand winners.
Jeevan, who found the former strong with his backhand returns, was wise enough to open the court to his rival’s forehand. He found the move pretty effective. And, Karunuday struggled for reach and soon crumbled under pressure.
The 24-year-old from Chennai, who has four ITF Futures titles under his belt, got the big breaks at the right time.
In the other semifinal, top seed and local hero N. Sriram Balaji, after putting up a brave fight in the first set, went down 7-5, 6-1 to third seed Vijayant Malik. The home crowd was obviously disappointed, but they stood by him, aware of the fact that he was nursing a repetitive stress injury to the knee.
Balaji, who played with his left knee taped, won the ninth game. Malik, however, was smart enough to pull it back to 5-5. He further held his own for a crucial 6-5 lead.
The pressure was beginning to tell on Balaji. A couple of double faults added to his agony. Malik, the 23-year-old from Panipat, grabbed the chance and wrapped up the set 7-5.
The second set saw Malik drop just one game.
Later in the day, the second-seeded pair of Keith Patrick Crowley (South Africa) and Arun Prakash Rajagopalan got past Fariz Mohammed and Vignesh Peranamallur 6-3, 6-2 for the doubles title.
Singles: Semifinals: Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Karunuday Singh 6-3, 6-3; Vijayant Malik bt Sriram Balaji 7-5, 6-1.
Doubles: Final: Keith Patrick Crowley (RSA) & Arun Prakash Rajagopalan bt Fariz Mohammed & Vignesh Peranamallur 6-3, 6-2.