National champion R. Ramkumar did his confidence a world of good as he saved a match-point to beat Lee Duck Hee of Korea 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 in the final of the $10,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament at the VIP’s Club here on Saturday.
The19-year-old Chennai lad, who trains in Spain at the Sanchez Casal Academy and competes in Europe regularly thanks to the support of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said: “I was happy with the way I played better and better as the match progressed. It was satisfying to turn it around after my opponent was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
“The crowd supported me a lot, and it was a good match. I am also happy to have hit a big forehand inside-out to save that match-point at 5-6 in the second set tie-break,” said the sixth-seeded Ramkumar, even as he acknowledged the role of his coaches and TNTA.
The reigning national grass court champion, Ramkumar also recalled the dramatic recovery in the semifinals when his opponent, Torsten Wietoska of Germany was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Ramkumar said that tough training in Spain and playing matches around the world had made him strong enough to be able to finish the season strongly.
“I look forward to training better and build on the confidence gained from this title,” said Ramkumar.
The result (final):
R. Ramkumar bt Lee Duck Hee (Kor) 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.