Top-seeded Vishnu Vardhan sweated it out with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Max Jones of Britain in the pre-quarterfinals of the ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Wednesday.
Vishnu started strongly, racing away with the first set, with breaks in the second and sixth games. However, the Briton showed his class by breaking Vishnu decisively in the fourth game of the second set.
The match was keenly fought in the third set in which Vishnu was able assert himself with his serves, early on. The Briton was matching him competently till he hit the tape with an attempted drop while facing a breakpoint in the sixth game. That was costly, and Vishnu grabbed his chances happily.
Vishnu dropped just two points in his next two service games, and wound up the show with three aces in the last game, that had the Briton cursing his luck.
“I’m not playing my best tennis yet. I am happy to be back here, but it takes a little time to get used to the change. The balls are heavy and I tried to just keep it in play. It is not easy to generate more pace. There is no point trying for perfection,” said Vishnu.
Vishnu will next face Rupesh Roy, who toyed with Ronak Manuja before the latter retired with a back injury early in the second set. Manuja led in the early part, but Rupesh was just too good.
“I like playing Rupesh. We have played a lot right from the junior days. He makes you play so much more and is a tough competitor,” said Vishnu as he viewed the quarterfinal outing.
In another lively encounter, Vijay Sundar Prashanth’s passing shots were spot on, despite a painful right upper arm, as he got past the former national champion Ashutosh Singh in straight sets.
“I knew that his game was based on serve and volley. I was prepared. Receiving is my strength. If I returned well, I was sure of beating him. I was happy with my game,” said Vijay, who has taken treatment including ultrasound to relieve the pain in his right arm.
In the quarterfinals, Vijay will challenge the fifth-seeded Peter Lucassen who got past Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan. The latter retired in the third set, owing to cramps. It was Jeevan’s first professional tournament in more than a year, as he has been busy with education in the US.
V.M. Ranjeet was the other Indian to make the quarterfinals.
The results: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Vishnu Vardhan bt Max Jones (GBR) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3; Rupesh Roy bt Ronak Manuja 7-6(3), 2-0 (retired); Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Ashutosh Singh 6-3, 6-4; Peter Lucassen (Ned) bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-7(6), 6-4, 4-1 (retired); Sean Thornley (GBR) bt Tim Bradshaw (GBR) 6-3, 7-6(6); Chris Eaton (GBR) bt Seong-Yoon Chung (Kor) 6-2, 7-5; V.M. Ranjeet bt Sudanwa Sitaram 6-1, 6-3; Young-Jun Kim (Kor) bt Shane La Porte (US) 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2.
Doubles (quarterfinals): Ashutosh Singh & Vishnu Vardhan bt Vijayant Malik & Sriram Balaji 6-2, 6-4; Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan & Rupesh Roy bt Mithun Murali & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-1, 6-2; Chris Eaton & Sean Thornley (GBR) bt Young-Jun Kim & Hyun-Soo Lim (Kor) 7-6(4), 5-7, 10-5; Rohan Gajjar & Vivek Shokeen bt P. C. Vignesh & B. Vikram Reddy 6-3, 7-5.