Zeel loses marathon final

Balaji & Jeevan bow out

Fifth seed Zeel Desai missed a match point and was beaten 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-2 in three hours and 55 minutes by top seed Sandra Samir in the final of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament here on Sunday.

In a see-saw battle in which she recovered from being down 0-3 in the second set, saved two set points and missed a match point at 7-6 in the tie-breaker, Zeel was overtaken in the one- sided decider.

Sandra fired two aces in the end, one to save a break point and the other to seal victory in the eighth game of the third set, in which she led 4-1 to wrest the initiative. The 22-year-old Sandra served four aces in the match and converted eight of 16 break points that she forced.

Zeel converted seven of 16 break points in the match, and won 119 points to 133 by Sandra.

It was a commendable performance by the 21-year-old Zeel who had earlier lost the doubles final.

She had won a singles title in the ITF professional circuit in Gwalior in 2017. She has also won four doubles titles on the Tour.

In the $108,320 Challenger in Mexico, fifth seeds Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, occupying the position of the top seeds in the draw, went down 7-5, 6-4 in the doubles semifinals by Brazilians Orlando Luz and Rafael Matos.

The Indian pair collected 35 ATP points and $2,160.

The results:

$108,320 Challenger, Monterrey: Doubles (semifinals): Orlando Luz & Rafael Matos (Bra) bt Sriram Balaji & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 7-5, 6-4.

$15,000 ITF women, Cairo: Singles (final): Sandra Samir (Egy) bt Zeel Desai 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-2.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 6:15:29 PM |

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