NEW DELHI: Former National champion Ashutosh Singh stopped fifth-seeded Rohan Gajjar 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the $10,000 ITF men’s F9 tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Thursday.
It was the first victory in four meetings for the 26-year-old Ashutosh over the tall Gajjar, with the first meeting dating as far back as 2002.
The 24-year-old Gajjar looked to be headed for his fourth win over Ashutosh when he pocketed the first set with ease. He was sharp and confident. However, it was Ashutosh who tightened his game and served well to break the shackles. Gajjar was unable to sustain his good game and cracked under pressure.
Ashutosh set up 3-0 leads in the second and third sets, and was in fact two breaks up in the third, before cruising home smoothly for a semifinal against sixth-seeded Kento Takeuchi. The Japanese had beaten him in their only meeting, but that was two years ago.
Takeuchi started slowly, only to be a mute witness as qualifier Karunuday Singh fired on all cylinders to race away with the first set.
Though he was not physically at his best, Takeuchi was far too competitive to make a meek surrender and clawed his way back into the contest.
In the decider, it was on serve for the first 10 games, and Karunuday was the first to blink as he erred with the slice, which was injudicious as he could have relied on his trusted weapons in the climax.
He paid the penalty as Takeuchi served the match out in the 12th game, though he had to save two breakpoints.
The 18-year-old Karunuday came up with a spectacular backhand return winner to save one matchpoint but that was the last hurrah.
The results: Singles (quarterfinals): Kento Takeuchi (Jpn) bt Karunuday Singh 2-6, 6-2, 7-5; Ashutosh Singh bt Rohan Gajjar 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; V.M. Ranjeet bt Rupesh Roy 6-1, 6-2; Young-Jun Kim (Kor) bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Doubles (semifinals): Ashutosh Singh & Vishnu Vardhan bt Fariz Mohammed & P.C. Vignesh 3-6, 6-2, 10-6; Chris Eaton (GBR) & Rohan Gajjar bt Mithun Murali & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-1, 4-6, 10-5.
Quarterfinals: Ashutosh & Vishnu bt Arata Onozawa & Kento Takeuchi (Jpn) 6-0, 6-4; Fariz & Vignesh bt Rupesh Roy & Vivek Shokeen 6-1, 2-6, 10-8; Mithun & Prashanth bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan & V.M. Ranjeet 6-2, 6-2.