Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Rik de Voest of South Africa overcame a spirited challenge from Karan Rastogi, albeit in the first set, in recording a 7-5, 6-2 victory in an hour and 26 minutes in the final of the $15,000 ITF men's Futures tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday

There was no doubt that Rik de Voest was in a different league. Yet, it was commendable that Rastogi fought on even terms for the better part of the first set, before the South African upped his game to pull through.

Though Rastogi dropped the first game after opting to serve, he engaged the South African for a long time in the second that stretched to as many as 20 points.

However, Rastogi was unable to capitalise on three breakpoints in that game as de Voest came up with big serves whenever required. In fact, the 29-year-old came up with 13 aces in the match to assert his explosive game.

Refusing to be intimidated by the South African's big game, Rastogi battled hard, and came up with a passing shot to win a break in the sixth game.

Unlucky

Rastogi was unlucky to face two breakpoints in the 11th game when his backhand hit the tape.

He saved one but de Voest hit a winner to seal the decisive break. de Voest served out the first set in the 12th game with the help of two aces.

In the second set, Rastogi was a step slow, and it was no surprise that he dropped serves in the fifth and seventh games. In contrast, de Voest dropped only three points in all on his serve in the second set.

After the match, de Voest was all praise for Rastogi for his excellent game. de Voest said he was pleased to have been at the venue that would host the Commonwealth Games and said that he would get back to the Challenger circuit and get to the French Open to play doubles with Dmitri Tursunov of Russia.

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