Ranked in the 700s’ in the ATP rankings at the beginning of 2012, N. Sriram Balaji has made quick progress in the last 14 months — he’s now ranked 314. Winning his first ITF Futures singles title in Chennai last year was the turning point.
His career has been on an upswing since. Sriram clinched his second Futures title in Iran. He then made it to the Davis Cup squad as a reserve player in the tie against New Zealand. “It was a big jump. I am very happy with my game,” said the 22-year-old.
Seeded two in the MCC-S.R. Subramaniam Memorial ITF Futures men’s $10,000 tennis tournament beginning at the TNTA courts here on Monday, Sriram doesn’t want to take it easy knowing pretty well the fickleness of the sport.
“I want to take one match at a time,” he said.
Sriram will face Maximilian Dinslaken of Germany in the first round. Victor Crivoi of Romania, the top seed, will take on Filippo Leonardi of Italy, while third seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan meets qualifier Taipei’s Ting Yu Chuang.
Vijayant Malik and V.M. Ranjeet, who played in the Davis Cup against Korea, are seeded sixth and fifth. Meanwhile, Vivek Shokeen and P. Vignesh qualified for the main draw.
The results (final qualifying round, Indians unless otherwise mentioned): Austin Karosi (USA) bt Kunal Anand 1-6,7-6(1),6-4; Patrick Ciorcila (Rou) bt Rakshay Thakkar 6-3,6-4; Tom Schonenberg (Ger) bt V. Vignesh 6-1, 6-3; Vivek Shokeen bt Jui Chen Hung (Tpe) 6-4,6-2; Vignesh Peranamallur bt Sagar Manjanna 6-3, 0-6, 6-1; Mats Moraing (Ger) bt Libor Salaba (Cze) 6-2, 6-3; Katsushi Fukuda (Jpn) bt Allan Gomes Oliviera (Bra) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Ting Yu Chuang (Tpe) bt Chin Jen Ho (Tpe) 6-4, 6-2.