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Updated: March 22, 2014 23:14 IST

Lopez-Perez downs Sriram Balaji, takes title

Principal Correspondent
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Enrique Lopez-Perez. Photo: M. Moorthy
The Hindu
Enrique Lopez-Perez. Photo: M. Moorthy

Top-seeded Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain scored a 6-4, 6-4 win over third-seeded Indian N. Sriram Balaji to clinch the title in the Vasan Eye Care-ITF men’s Futures tennis championship at the Union Club here on Saturday. It was the Spaniard’s second crown in as many weeks. He had emerged victorious in Chennai earlier.

Balaji didn’t enjoy a good start in the first set. After dropping serve in the opening game, he conceded a break in his next service game as well, hitting a backhand into the net to go down 0-3.

Although Balaji broke back in the fourth game, Lopez-Perez, ranked 253 in the world, ensured there was no further let-up, going on to pocket the set 6-4.

In the second set, by the time the scorecard read 3-3 the players’ had traded three breaks. Balaji, down 0-40 on serve in the seventh game, fought valiantly to save the breakpoint and also earned a game point. However, he couldn’t close out the game as the top seed capitalised on Balaji’s errors to break again. Lopez-Perez, who held at love to make it 5-3, came up with another solid service game in the tenth to wrap up the match in one hour and 19 minutes.

“I am happy to have won two titles on my first visit to India. I hope to win in Madurai next week,” said Lopez-Perez. The winner won a cash award of $1440 and 18 ATP points, while the runner-up received $848 and 10 points.

The result: Final: Enrique Lopez-Perez (Esp) bt N. Sriram Balaji (Ind) 6-4, 6-4.

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