Vishnu Vardhan knocked out second-seeded Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the $10,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.
This was Vishnu’s first win over Jeevan in five meetings on the international circuit, spread over nine years.
On the other hand, top seed Yuki Bhambri beat Karunuday Singh for the first time in four meetings over four years. While Bhambri has improved considerably in recent months it was impressive on the part of Vishnu Vardhan to arrest his recent run of quarterfinal losses.
Vishnu got off to a flying start in both sets, breaking Jeevan early and hitting with better timing and depth than in earlier matches.
In the semifinals, Vishnu will be up against Sriram Balaji who laboured past Jui-Chen Hung of Chinese Taipei, prevailing 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The third seed did well to recover from a poor start, but was unable to wind up the show early despite serving for the match in the 10th game of the decider. In fact, Balaji had to save six breakpoints in serving out the second set in the ninth game, after he had missed a set-point in the eighth.
Bhambri was a delight to watch, conceding a mere three games to an opponent who had lost only one set to him in three meetings.
While Bhambri dropped only 10 points on his serve, Karunuday grappled with his game, unable to strike any sort of rhythm. A semblance of a fight brewed in the second set, but Karunuday lacked conviction, and Bhambri signed off with an unusual celebratory dance before shaking hands.
The results: Singles (quarterfinals): Yuki Bhambri bt Karunuday Singh 6-0, 6-3; Torsten Wietoska (Ger) bt Siddharth Rawat 6-2, 6-3; Sriram Balaji bt Jui-Chen Hung (Tpe) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Vishnu Vardhan bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles (semifinals): Sriram Balaji & V.M. Ranjeet bt Ashutosh Singh & Vishnu Vardhan 6-1, 3-6, 10-7; R. Ramkumar & Ashwin Vijayragavan bt Daniiar Duldaev (Kgz) & Timur Khabibulin (Kaz) 6-1, 7-5.