Vishnu Vardhan advanced to the semifinals of the $10,000 Toyota Bangalore Open ITF tournament with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Sriram Balaji on Thursday.
The two had met in the ITF final at Mysore last Saturday, where Vishnu had prevailed 7-6(7), 6-3. This time around, Sriram remained tepid through the first set, dropping serve in the first, third and fifth games. He offered only a marginally better account in the second set, but Vishnu's big serve and solid ground-strokes proved good enough.
Sriram hit a few aces too to briefly stay afloat — in fact, Sriram looked the better player at the net, while Vishnu seemed in a hurry to finish off the rally — but the odd double-fault proved his undoing. He dropped serve in the third game from 40-15, hitting a double-fault, making a couple of errors, and finally hitting a forehand wide on break-point.
Having pocketed the break, Vishnu ensured he stayed consistent on serve to seal his last-four berth.
Meanwhile, top-seed Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei had to dig deep against unseeded Ashwin Vijayragavan for a 7-6(7), 6-3 victory.
The first set saw Ashwin going toe-to-toe against Ti Chen. Ashwin, though, choked in the tie-breaker after running up a 6-1 lead.
Ti hit the zone after that, clinching the tie-break with two aces along the way, and wrapped it up in the second.
The results (Indian unless specified): Singles: Quarterfinals: V.M. Ranjeet bt Vijayant Malik 6-2, 6-3; Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Warit Sornbutnark (Tha) 6-1, 6-2; Ti Chen (Tpe) bt Ashwin Vijayragavan 7-6(7), 6-3; Vishnu Vardhan bt Sriram Balaji 6-0, 6-4. Doubles: Semifinals: Sriram Balaji & Arun Prakash Rajagopalan bt Abhijeet Tiwari & Ashwin Vijayragavan 5-7, 6-2, 10-8; Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan & Ranjeet Virali Murugesan bt Vijayant Malik & Kaza Vinayak Sharma 6-4, 6-4.
Keywords: Toyota ITF Open