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Young-Jun Kim clinches title

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ONE MORE IN HIS KITTY: Young-Jun Kim of Korea outplayed Kento Takeuchi of Japan in the final on Saturday.
ONE MORE IN HIS KITTY: Young-Jun Kim of Korea outplayed Kento Takeuchi of Japan in the final on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Young-Jun Kim of Korea outplayed Kento Takeuchi of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the $10,000 ITF men’s F9 tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

Though he was drained physically following an upset stomach overnight, the second-seeded Kim rose to the occasion to add another title to his collection.

It was the second title in three tournaments over three weeks at the same venue for Kim, who had retired in the semifinals against Vishnu Vardhan last week.

In fact, it was his third title in the last four tournaments for the 545th ranked Kim who had won a title back home before beginning his successful campaign in India.

Missed opportunities

The sixth-seeded Takeuchi knew that he had to push the Korean straightaway, and played a strong game. However, the Japanese failed to capitalise on the chances as he failed to convert the breakpoints in the first and fifth games.

Of course, it had to be conceded that the versatile Korean came up with the big serves on the key points to stay away from danger. The Korean wrested the initiative as he broke the Japanese at love in the sixth game, unleashing a forehand crosscourt passing shot on breakpoint. Thereafter, he cruised on his silken smooth serves to bag the first set in 48 minutes.

In the second set, Kim saved a breakpoint in the second game and broke the Japanese in the third with a sharp volley. Takeuchi by now had run out of energy and ideas. The Korean dropped only six points in winning the next four games to be home in an hour and 17 minutes.

“I am happy with the way I played today, despite being down physically,” said Kim.

The Korean said that he would return home for a national tournament and rest the following week, before resuming his campaign to get back to his best ranking of 302 that he enjoyed as far back as in 2004.

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